Far be it for me to criticize Mario Chalmers. I’m probably one of his biggest haters (during his Kansas Jayhawks days) turned supporters, but his borderline blackout moments have cost the Miami Heat a few games, beginning with his November suspension after a seemingly inadvertent elbow to the neck of the Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.
Last night, it was another flagrant foul for Chalmers that led to a four-point swing, propelling the Sacramento Kings to a win. No matter how much the Heat questioned the play, it was obvious that he took a running start at DeMarcus Cousins and gave a hip-check that wasn’t needed, regardless of the center’s flop.
The Heat may have considered it a box out, but it looked more like a football player trying to block from the blindside. It was similar to the way he tried to run over Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague, then flew back as if he was the one that felt all the contact. Even that was called a flagrant foul, but was then luckily reduced.
These are the types of plays that Chalmers should be called out on because they’ve been happening to often. It’s not the bad rotations that aren’t actually his fault. It’s the boneheaded forearms that put the team in danger and Dwyane Wade in an early season back-to-back before his body was ready.
As I’ve said before, “Rio” is the perfect point guard for the Heat. You do not have to run plays for him or use him to set up an offense, but he can be a terror on defense, knock down his threes and come up clutch when needed. The issue — as South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman explains it — is that another flying elbow like the one that he gave Blake Griffin could push the limit on Chalmers’ five flagrant foul points:
A sixth point mandates an automatic one-game suspension. In fact, if Chalmers’ next flagrant foul is ruled a Flagrant 2 foul, for “unnecessary and excessive contact,” he would then be suspended for two games.
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