When Mario Chalmers elevates his game, the Miami Heat typically win. Defenses already have to concern themselves with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the sharp-shooting Ray Allen. If Chalmers gives them something else to worry about, it is often too much to handle.
The 26-year-old has yet to do that in the NBA Finals.
Chalmers has gotten progressively less productive as the playoffs have gone on. He is averaging just 3.3 points and 3.0 assists against the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 9.0 points in the first series against the Charlotte Bobcats, 7.2 against the Brooklyn Nets and 5.7 against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
After Tuesday night’s blowout loss in Game 3, Chalmers blamed himself.
“I think everybody else is doing their job and I’m being that guy that’s not helping out,” he said, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. “I don’t want to be that guy.”
Last year, Chalmers was a difference maker in the NBA Finals against the Spurs. You could argue that he led the Heat to victories with 19 points Game 2 and 20 points in Game 6. He also scored 14 on the biggest stage in Game 7.
So far, this series has been the opposite. Chalmers has almost as many turnovers (9) as points (10) through three games. We’re not going to say the Heat need Chalmers to play well to win a championship, because we all know LeBron is capable of putting the team on his back at any moment. That said, Chalmers could make life a lot easier on his teammates by stepping up. At least he knows it.