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Mario Chalmers has another big game on another big stage

Jun 10, 2013, 1:02 AM EDT

BKN-NBA-FINALS-SPURS-HEAT-GAME 2 Getty Images

MIAMI — Of course it was Mario Chalmers.

He did this at Kansas, when he sent the 2008 NCAA Finals to overtime with a three pointer over Derrick Rose. Chalmers’ Jayhawks went on to win that game.

Last year he dropped 25 points on 14 shots on Oklahoma City in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, a key win on the way to the Heat winning the title.

And so with the Heat needing somebody to step up with LeBron James unable to get going offensively — he was 2-of-12 midway through the third quarter — of course it was Mario Chalmers making plays.

He drove the lane for an and-1 lay-up with 3:11 left in the third, a play that gave Miami the lead back and kicked off a 33-5 run by Miami that turned Game 2 into a blowout. Chalmers had 19 points but more importantly was the primary defender on Tony Parker, who shot 5-of-14 and had 5 turnovers to go with his 5 assists.

“He’s got guts,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Chalmers. “Come on. He had that all the way back in college. He has incredible confidence in his game. He’s shown that through the years, even when it’s sometimes… I wouldn’t say irrational.

“You have to have guts to play with out guys. If you don’t you get swallowed up.”

During their big run the Heat had success with Chalmers as the ball handler and LeBron setting the picks — Chalmers was aggressive and attacked out of that set. But that was not the end of the floor that was his primary focus.

“My main focus is to stop Tony Parker,” Chalmers said. “That’s my job. That the key to the game, is not to let him get going. And if the offense keeps going for me, I’m going to take it as it comes.”

LeBron wants him to keep taking it.

“Rio (Chalmers nickname), he has to play big for us in multiple facets,” LeBron said. “I think especially defensively he is guarding arguably the best point guard in the league. But I think he also has to make Tony work on the defensive end, he can’t be passive. He has to attack the paint. He has to shoot his shots when he has them.

“We started to get a little flow, and I started to see him start to play really well, especially when coming off pick-and-rolls. We ran a lot of pick-and-rolls between the two of us, and I told him to keep attacking and let’s try to push this lead up and go for the kill. And we were able to do that.”

When the Heat get production and balance from guys other than LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh they are nearly unbeatable. If Chalmers has a couple more games like this in him this series, Miami may get its repeat.

  1. packfaninvikeland - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Mario keeps it up he will be Lebron’s Pippen once Wade is done in 2 years or so, both had no post game. Anyways, Dont care who wins in the end, but the Heat finally cracked and frustrated the Spurs late in the 3rd. Foul calls were favored to the home team , but what else is new..Spurs in 6.

  2. saint1997 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    top 10 point guard in the NBA….he thinks

    • WatchThis - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      You gotta play for the job you want, or play like you believe you’re that great.

  3. doctordunkenstein - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Three words: Alaska’s Sexiest Man

  4. tmatic74 - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Mario is fearless on the big stage like F it. He did his job off of the Lebron set ups.

  5. jbeagles23 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    The big key here is as amazing as tony Parker is. Chalmers and cole are a little quicker so they can slow him down over the course of the game. They’re boh making him work

  6. rodge1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Watching Tony Parker try to draw fouls by flailing & flopping was particularly entertaining.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      I guess he hasn’t perfected the flop like LeBron or Wade. As a bandwagoner you have witnessed enough flopping that you can judge flopping.

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM

        Well LeBron wade and Parker all perfected team play. Hint: That’s why they’re in the NBA finals and carmelo is at home watching…..

      • miamatt - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        If you’re going to do it, you might as well perfect it.

        Fun fact: until last night, Carmelo Anthony had more FG attempts in this year’s playoffs than anybody else. FINALLY, LBJ caught up with him, after playing 50% more games.

        The next time Carmelo helps the Knicks win a game, let alone a meaningful one, in a way other than scoring, I’ll eat my hat.

      • gaysgo2hell - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        If your a NY fan,you have no reason to be hear..

  7. jbeagles23 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    He’s gotten that call his whole career. Chalmers does it too. That call should be taken out f the game as for the most part it’s never a foul

  8. canehouse - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Gotta Love “Rio”… very well known fact is Chalmers believes he is the best player on the HEAT! Dude is a flat out cold blooded.

  9. golfrangeman - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    My question for you cantonbound is do you ever have anything intelligent to say? This article has nothing to do with LeBron

  10. rodge1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    @cantonbound13

    Yes, I’m a bandwagon Heat fan. I joined the bandwagon when they drafted Ronny Seikaly and then drafted Glen Rice to form the original Big 3 with Jon Sunvold… How are the Knicks doing by the way? I remember you and MrWright making championship-predictions for the Knicks earlier this year. How’d that go Sid?

    • miamatt - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Don’t forget “The General” Sherman Douglas and Grant Long!

      I do recall @cantonbound13 declaring the Knicks “better and deeper” than the Heat early in the season. But we were the fools for shrugging off November basketball.

  11. jbeagles23 - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Cantonbound has no bball knowledge what so ever. Anyone that thinks their team with win with melo clearly doesn’t know the game or what it takes to be a winner

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      I’m no fan of arrogant NYers, but Carmelo IS a winner; it’s the guys he’s surrounded with that are not. Chalmers blows away any of the Knicks guards, although Raymond Felton is pretty good and 6th crazy man J.R. Smith doesn’t suck most of the time, either. Point is, the Knicks don’t have what it takes to compete for a championship but not because of Carmelo Anthony, NCAA champion as a freshman and Olympic gold medal winner with Team USA. It’s not Carmelo’s fault.

  12. HotHotHeat - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Canton the clown! I wish he would do us all a favor and disappear like the Knicks do in the playoffs(if they even make it).

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Good and evil exist simultaneously. Hence, the clown.

  13. miamatt - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    While it is silly even for a die-hard Heat fan for myself to declare Super Mario a top ten point guard in this league, his self-confidence serves Miami well.

    At some point every year there will be folks shaking their heads and asking what the Heat are doing with Chalmers, and games like last night are the reason why. And that wasn’t the first time. Every year, for multiple games every playoff run, Chalmers comes up huge in a gotta-have-it game.

    Chalmers really does believe he is the biggest star/celebrity in Miami, and down here, we’ll let him have it.

  14. rodge1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    @miamatt

    I could never forget those guys or even Keith Askins hitting his favorite baseline jumpers. I also remember the Miami Arena crowd chanting for Alan Ogg to come in during garbage-time. Yup, I’m a bandwagoner.

    • miamatt - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      A post worthy of the great Bimbo Coles and Billy Cunningham.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Those bandwagon comments are just as pathetic as the LeBron doesn’t have the heart of a champion comments. Consider the source(s) and it all makes sense: losers gonna hate. Meanwhile, if the Spurs play at a very high level they have a real chance to beat the Heat, the defending champions who went on a crazy long winning streak this season. I’m no fan of Miami teams but I enjoy watching a team like the Heat play this great game, and I especially enjoy watching LeBron do his thing, just as I enjoy watching Tony Parker and the great Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili do theirs. Captain Obvious says game 3 is extremely important!

  15. rodge1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    How about Harold ‘Baby Jordan’ Minor?

  16. rodge1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    How about some love for Harold ‘Baby Jordan’ Minor?

  17. scorpwood - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    No love for Baby Jordan, but what about Earl the Pearl and Rory Sparrow?

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