At times like these, fans can often get confused about how great superstars actually are. It’s as if they are not really sure if one man can be considered responsible for an entire team’s triumph or if a victory is defined by the sum of the team’s parts.
The popular theme would be to dismiss the latter for everyone’s recollection of how Michael Jordan dominated everything by himself. This is why LeBron James walks around with the weight of the world’s criticism on his shoulders.
People forget that MJ had Steve Kerr and John Paxson to knock shots down and Dennis Rodman to hustle. Kobe Bryant had Brian Shaw and Derek Fisher to control the pace and Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan had Robert Horry to hit the big shots. So when James goes out because his body “failed” him — like the Miami Heat did when they dropped the lead — people should realize that there is a key contributor who is yet to show up in the playoffs.
Lost in all of the air conditioning talk and cramp-gate is the fact that the man (Mario Chalmers) who carried the team when the King’s body broke down in 2012 has reduced himself to less than a role player.
Just think, if his three points and one assist in Game 1 were bad, his five fouls and five turnovers were even worse. He looked nothing like the guy who pundits thought the Heat would not be able to afford. Norris Cole wasn’t much better, but Chalmers made himself useless as he forced the action like he was trying too hard.
Long gone are the days where his “Mister Clutch” moniker was only greeted with a chuckle. Now it’s downright laughter because his 6.8 points per game average in the postseason is looking nothing like the point guard who outplayed Tony Parker in a couple games in last year’s Finals.
In the words of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, Chalmers “may very well be playing himself back into the Heat’s price range.” And playing the team right out of the NBA Finals.