No player has sacrificed more for Miami to reach the NBA Finals than Mario Chalmers.
As one of just five holdovers from a season ago, Chalmers has dealt with adjusting to nine new teammates, experiencing drastic swings in playing time and dealing with the constant criticism of the play of Heat point guards.
Experiencing a decline in his playoff minutes for the third consecutive year, Chalmers has learned how to provide a spark off the bench, something desperately needed by Miami.
Just six players have played all 15 post season games for the Heat this year. With 92 points scored, Chalmers ranks fourth on the team in scoring and has hit the second most three-point field goals on the team.
Shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range, third best on the team, Chalmers has helped spread the floor to give Wade and James room to operate around the basket.
Each of the 12 playoff victories this season for the Heat has seen a different performer step up off the bench.
Knocking out Philadelphia in Game 6, Chalmers scored 20 points, negating an off night from James, clinching the first playoff series victory for Miami since winning the championship in 2006.
The Heat took the opening game against the Celtics as James Jones scored 25 points, connecting on 5-of-7 attempts from three-point range.
With the entire offense struggling during Game 3 against Boston, Chalmers submitted his most complete game of the playoffs, shooting 7-of-9 from the field, scoring 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals during the only loss against Boston.
Udonis Haslem evened the series in Chicago by scoring 13 points in 23 minutes, overwhelming the Bulls front court.
While Haslem has received plenty of praise for his breakout performance this season, Chalmers’ efficiency in Game 4 helped Miami clinch the series quickly.
His nine point effort included two shots from beyond the arc, along with four steals in just 20 minutes of play.
By making Miami unpredictable, Chalmers has evolved into one of the most dangerous players this post season.
If he can produce consistently off the bench, Miami will beat the Mavericks in the Finals for the second time in five seasons.
Three years ago, Chalmers was drained a last second three-pointer to force overtime and lead his Kansas Jayhawks to an NCAA Championship and ruining the title dreams of Rose.
From being the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament to a reserve with the Heat, Chalmers remains the top scoring option outside of the Big Three.
Four victories away from helping James claim his first championship, the Heat are relying on Chalmers to relive all the pressure placed on its stars.
Hoping to put his hands around the Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time in his career, Chalmers wants to erase Terry’s memento at the end of the series.