Is Mario Chalmers a serious concern for the Heat now that LeBron James is no longer yelling at him in games?

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. (AP)
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Heat point guard Mario Chalmers. (AP)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat sat through their longest film session of the season on Wednesday. It was an hour of reliving a painful 111-92 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, a film study that made the Heat about 20 minutes late to their media availability.

"Normal film session, except a lot more to go through," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra quipped.

Mario Chalmers is hearing it from all sides. (AP)
Mario Chalmers is hearing it from all sides. (AP)

Spoelstra, the only one to speak during the play-by-play sitdown, didn't offer much details of what the Heat dissected, but the player who might have received the most rewinds was Mario Chalmers. The struggling point guard scored only two points, going 0-for-5 from the field, in Game 3. He is averaging 3.3 points and four assists in the Finals, an extension of a run that hasn't seen him score double-figures in the past 12 playoff games.

Chalmers, who will be a free agent this offseason, was critical of himself after Tuesday's blowout and said it was very important that he improved and start from scratch. He acknowledged the mounting chorus of derision on Wednesday.

"People keep asking, 'What's wrong? Are you going to do this or are you going to do that?'" Chalmers said.

"It's tough to get away from it."

Spoelstra put on a brave face for his beleaguered player, saying it was unfair to put the entire loss on Chalmers. He has a point considering the Spurs set the NBA Finals record for shooting from the floor in the first quarter (86.7 percent) and the entire first half, en route to taking a 2-1 series lead. Chalmers certainly can't guard every position on the floor.

"We have trust in 'Rio, and we want him to be confident," Spoelstra said. "Want him to be aggressive. He's a big part of what we do."

LeBron James is no stranger to jawing with Chalmers during games, but he has purposely refrained from yelling at him recently.

"We need him out on the floor to make plays," James said. "He's our point guard. He puts us in our sets and we need him to make shots. But more than anything, we need him just to demand being a point guard and being reliable offensively, being reliable defensively, and putting himself and our teammates in position to succeed, and that's what it's about. You can't lose confidence in yourself more than anything."

Perhaps the Heat aren't looking to Chalmers enough. That was a curious explanation he offered Wednesday.

"I'm not involved, really," Chalmers said of Miami's offense. "I think in the previous Finals I was handling the ball a lot more and getting more action. I think defenses were playing me different. Right now, it's just trying to make the adjustment, trying to get my teammates looking for me more."

Remember, the pressure heading into Game 3 appeared stronger for the Spurs as they were coming off a loss and playing a Miami team that had won 11 straight postseason games at home. Now after another loss, the Heat are in a must-win situation in Game 4 on Thursday night.

Spoelstra is hoping that the Heat's film work will translate to success, especially for Chalmers.

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