Dallas Inconsistent through the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs, Miami Heat backup point guard Mario Chalmers has now strung together three productive efforts in the NBA Finals, helping the Heat to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Dallas Mavericks.
“It’s about consistency,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday, speaking of the former Kansas University combo guard. “So can he do it again?” Spoelstra added.
After shooting 3-of-8 in each of the series' first two games, Chalmers shot 4-of-8 in Sunday's 88-86 Game 3 victory, each conversion a three-pointer. At 8-of-19 on threes in the series, Chalmers has helped keep the Mavericks’ zone defense honest. He’s the only player on the roster other than LeBron James shooting above 40 percent from beyond the arc in the series.
“He is not afraid and is not going to shy away from the moment,” Spoelstra told the Sun Sentinel.
Averaging 11 points per game, Chalmers is the finals’ only reserve beyond Mavericks’ guard Jason Terry scoring in double figures.
After shooting 13-of-35 in the opening round against the Philadelphia 76ers, Chalmers shot 4-of-15 on three-pointers in the second round against the Boston Celtics.
That was followed by 10-of-16 shooting against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals, a series when he succumbed to the defensive pressure of C.J. Watson, utilized for only 90 minutes over the five games.
But in this series, he has provided relief points.
“Just trying to have no letdowns,” Chalmers told the Sun Sentinel Monday. “You never know when you're going to have this moment again.”