The Miami Heat were unable to win a third consecutive NBA championship this past summer because they ran into a much better team. The San Antonio Spurs simply had better coaching and were more complete. And the way Mario Chalmers played certainly didn’t help Miami.
Chalmers knows that. He also feels that the Heat didn’t put him in the best position to contribute and that the entire team took a “back seat” in the NBA Finals.
“Everybody in my ear, talking about, ‘We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.'” Chalmers told Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report. “And then when it comes to the game, I didn’t feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y’all need me, but y’all didn’t put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals.”
Chalmers said he sat at home and “pouted” after the Spurs went on to win the series. He also acknowledged that his 4.4 points, 2.0 turnovers and 3.2 fouls per game hurt the Heat. When Miami decided to draft former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, Chalmers wasn’t confident he would be back.
The former Kansas star is sticking around, but LeBron James did not. However, Chalmers feels LeBron’s departure could open up opportunities for him to show he can compete at a high level in addition to allowing the Heat to go overlooked.
“I feel like I’ve finally got a chance to shine, show my real game,” he said. “Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we’re going to pick it up, we’re still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we’re still gonna be a competitor.”
It will be tough to compete with LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites in the Eastern Conference for obvious reasons, but I agree with Chalmers that the Heat aren’t getting enough credit. If Dwyane Wade can get healthy during the offseason, they should still be in the mix come playoff time.