Just so that Mario Chalmers is clear, this has nothing to do with his contract situation. Chalmers can be a free agent this summer, and it is entirely possible that he won’t be back with the Heat. But, no, that’s not the reason he has slipped into what appears to be an unbreakable funk. “I am not even thinking about that,” he said Wednesday. “Whatever happens this summer, happens.” We have seen this from Chalmers before—and he finds that strangely comforting. He is not, nor will he ever be, one of the Heat’s top offensive options, but he is decidedly capable of pulling out a big scoring game in an important situation, pushing his more celebrated Miami teammates to a win they might not have otherwise gotten. It happened twice last year, when Chalmers notched 19 points in a Game 2 win, and again in the Heat’s stunning comeback win in Game 6, when Chalmers had 20 points. He helped seal the Finals in 2012 against the Thunder, when he scored 25 points in a key Game 4. You know how it plays out from there—we all reminisce about the shot that Chalmers made to win Kansas the national championship in 2008, the Heat’s stars give some pat quotes about how Chalmers isn’t afraid of the big stage and we all move on from there. The problem has been that the Heat have not seen that version of Chalmers in quite some time. Not just in the Finals, but in the playoffs in general. In 18 playoff games, Chalmers has scored double figures just four times, the last coming when he had 11 points against the Nets in the second game of the conference semifinals. That was five weeks ago. “It’s tough to actually let it go, it is tough to get away from it,” Chalmers said. “But at the same time, it gives me more confidence in myself that people are expecting it from me, people know what I can do, people know I am capable of doing this.” Chalmers’ teammates are trying to nudge him back to being his old self.
Chalmers is struggling, but not because of contract
Sporting News | Jun 11