How Important is Mario Chalmers to the Miami Heat?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The point guard position on a basketball team is unlike any other position. It is the team’s floor general, the commander, the traffic cop, the air traffic controller — you get the point. The position requires great leadership, brilliant knowledge of the game and the ability to see the entire court.

The point guard is the quarterback of basketball, unless you are the point guard for the Miami Heat.

Entering his sixth season in the NBA and as Miami’s point guard, Mario Chalmers has hit some bumps in the road of development but has become a key piece for the defending champions.

Drafted 34th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a series of draft night transactions landed the Kansas Jayhawk in South beach.

Chalmers found himself part of a notorious rookie duo that included Michael Beasley. Both have had their share of maturity issues, but Chalmers found the correct path, one that Beasley has yet to discover.

Not an overwhelming star but a player who can hold his own, Chalmers has developed greatly over the last five seasons. Averaging 8.4 points and 3.6 assists on his young career, Chalmers has benefited from the “Big 3″ era.

The point guard position for Miami is more like a secondary position or another shooting guard on the floor. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are the main ball handlers and the point guard takes a back seat.

Chalmers has handled this well and has found his spot on the team. Starting the majority of the games the last two seasons, he has become a solid three-point shooter, shooting 37 percent for his career as well as another credible threat for a team with plenty of threats.

Miami has a roster unlike any other and can play many different styles as well as different lineups. Chalmers allows them to play a smaller and quicker lineup with James at the 4. The speed of Wade, Chalmers and James is too much for many teams to handle.

Not only does the speedy offense cause teams headaches, but the swarming defense can easily open a double digit lead in minutes. Chalmers provides great contributions on both sides of the ball and continues to improve.

Chalmers has made great strides over his first five seasons and is lucky to be with a tremendous organization. The young guard will continue to mature and improve as he continues to understand his role on a powerhouse squad.

As for his importance to the franchise, I rank him as the fifth most important player only behind the “Big 3″ and Ray Allen. Tough to compete with those four names.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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