According to most, the weakest position for the defending champs has and always will be the point guard as long as Mario Chalmers is patting the rock.
The other spots are all secure though. LeBron James is the best small forward in the league, Chris Bosh is a top five center, Dwyane Wade is still the second best two-guard behind Kobe Bryant, and Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier are pretty interchangeable at the power forward spot. But amongst critics and peers, Chalmers is looked at as the weak link in the lineup. Just ask the New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton like ESPNNewYork.com did last month:
“If you look at LeBron, Bosh and D-Wade and then you look at Chalmers, you’re like, OK, this is maybe where their weakness is at…”
The problem is, what people are evaluating is a player in an unusual position. Chalmers can’t be compared to the likes of Chris Paul or Kyrie Irving because he’s not a typical point guard. His job isn’t to setup an offense or constantly handle the ball. When you play for a team with James and Wade, that’s not your priority.
As a matter-of-fact, when his toes touch the court, his job is to be more shooter than distributor. And be surgical with it. Think Denzel Washington in Training Day or better yet a more athletic Derek Fisher in Los Angeles. Either way you look at it, he’s confident he can do it.
“He actually thinks he’s the best player on this team, and that’s a gift and a curse,” said Wade.
Lately, that self-assurance has been all presents. It’s allowed him to do things like put the Miami Heat on his back when James cramped up in the NBA finals and lift them with 10 three-pointers against the Sacramento Kings earlier this year.
So whether you like “Mr. Clutch” or not, he seems to fit the Heat and South Beach like a sandal shoe.
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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.