After a disappointing end to what Chris Bosh called a “grind of a season”, the Miami Heat can now start analyzing some of their biggest weaknesses and begin to restore their spot at the top of the NBA hierarchy. Depth was a major issue for the Heat this season, and it proved to be the biggest Achilles heel in the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. At times, it seemed LeBron James was all alone on the court, rarely getting assistance from Dwyane Wade, Bosh or any other Heat player.
One of the most shocking turnarounds was the sporadic play of Mario Chalmers. In a series where the Heat needed Chalmers to be at his very best, he played arguably the five worst playoff games of his career. Against the Spurs in this series, Chalmers averaged just 4.4 points, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steal while shooting an abysmal 33 percent from the field and an even worse 14 percent from beyond the arc. Because his 2013-14 season averages in these categories were far and beyond better, his Finals performance was unacceptable.
Looking ahead towards next season, the Heat will have a lot of choices from the free agent market or the talent-loaded 2014 Draft in terms of signing another point guard. With Norris Cole recently receiving an extension, Chalmers contract will become the focal point for the future of the point guard position in Miami. Even with his erratic play, many teams around the league will offer top dollar for Chalmers, and the Heat should absolutely let him walk away.
As great as Chalmers has been in the past, the fact that he wasn’t able to step up in the Finals shows what direction his talent has taken him. Cole is already starting to prove how solid of a point guard he can be, especially on the defensive end. Although Cole isn’t exactly ready to start for the Heat, he is still young and possesses the ability to develop and grow in this league. Chalmers seems to have hit his peak, and the fact that his contract has ended is a perfect opportunity for the Heat to walk away from the inconsistent point guard and explore more reliable options.