Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 5/5/12


LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, otherwise known as "The Big Three" have looked like a three-man wrecking crew as the Heat have so far made quick work of the Knicks in their first-round playoff matchup.

As much firepower as the trio may pack in their punch, however, they and the rest of their teammates have overwhelmed the Knicks with a full out team effort.

Though New York was able to stay within striking distance through three quarters in game three, the team failed to capitalize on the slow effort by the Heat. As a result, Miami took the home team by storm, erupting for an offensive explosion led by LeBron James' 17 points in the final quarter. The Knicks had unfortunately woken the sleeping dragon.

While James did get help from Wade, who added 20 points in Thursday night's 87-70, the all-star set of teammates actually received a big helping hand from a lesser known source as well. With the pair doing most of the ball-handling, point guard Mario Chalmers was free to space the floor well, positioning himself to cash in on some easy buckets from down town. In doing so, the Kansas product hit five shots from deep as he poured in 19 points to help put the Knicks away.

Able to play alongside a star-studded cast, Chalmers' success truly comes with ease. His ability to make smart decisions (whether it be knowing where to find his teammates or simply knowing when to pull up for a shot from downtown), along with a non-existent ego, makes Chalmers an ideal fit for the Heat. I go on to further state my case for Chalmers in my latest contribution for the "Off the Dribble" blog at The New York Times: 



Clearly not the biggest star on the stage, Chalmers simply does whatever is necessary to help the Heat win. As a point guard, he can play the part of floor general, effectively moving the ball and getting his teammates involved. Of course, although he has this capability, the need to handle the ball often becomes secondary when you have both James and Wade as teammates.
As James and Wade both thrive with the ball in their hands, Chalmers’ other main objective simply becomes not getting in the way. It becomes much easier for the young guard to let his superstar teammates do what they do best, which is dominate offensively. His nonexistent ego makes him an ideal player to just slide into the lineup to put in solid work on the defensive end while the stars pour in the points.
Though it may be subtle at times, Chalmers also has the ability to affect the offense when the ball is not in his hands. His long-range shooting ability makes him a constant threat from outside, forcing teams to cover him and thus not smother one of his all-star teammates with a double-team.


The young point guard and the Heat continue to produce one of the more well-balanced attacks in all of the NBA, perhaps all the while on their way to another trip to the NBA Finals. Should the Knicks continue to truly desire a shot at such greatness, they should continue to learn from Miami's model for a successful lineup surrounding their stars.
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