Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Mario Chalmers big plus for Heat


In general, new-fangled sports statistics rank right down there with sore throats, airplane seats next to compulsive talkers, extremely deliberate amblers negotiating crosswalks, golfers who take more than one practice swing, snakes, spiders and litterbugs.

The migration of the hockey plus-minus statistic to the NBA seven years ago qualifies as a delightful exception.

The statistic reflects how well a team performs when an individual is on the court. Interestingly, a player who seems to get chewed out by teammates more often than anybody in the NBA Finals had the third-best plus-minus ranking in the league during the regular season.

It’s been quite a year for Mario Chalmers. Not only did he hire an image consultant, his older sister, Roneka, according to an ESPN the Magazine story on him, but he also ranked behind only Miami Heat teammate LeBron James and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker in the plus-minus stat available on

Oklahoma City Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison, ranked 25th in the league, is the only other former Jayhawk to make the top 50, although Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics just missed.

That doesn’t make Chalmers the league’s third-best player, but it does demonstrate he’s on the perfect team for him. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade drive and collapse the defense, leaving Chalmers open. His skill at stealing the ball and pitching it ahead to the game’s best finishers comes in handy, too.

So why is everybody always yelling at him on TV during the most compelling NBA Finals in decades, and is there anything his image consultant can do about it?

First it was Chris Bosh repeatedly getting in his face. Then the camera and its microphone picked up Wade, who looked perplexed and even a little hurt when he crinkled his face, cocked his head and told Chalmers, “I’m not like that. Come on, now.”

And then there’s Collison, who plays like a robot programmed to appear in the right place at the perfect time. He takes charges, sets hard picks and rolls efficiently to the hoop on the NBA’s No. 1 bread-and-butter play. His help defense arrives consistently on time.

Jeff Van Gundy, the best NBA color commentator ever because of his candor, humor, knowledge and disdain for the whole concept of image consultants, seems to like the way Chalmers and Collison play.

A look at how KU players — injured Darrell Arthur missed all season — fared in plus-minus points, keeping in mind that it’s easier to be on the plus side when playing for a good team: 1. Chalmers (+390), 2. Collison (+267), 3. Pierce (+191), 4. Kirk Hinrich (+55), 5. Marcus Morris (-29), 6. Xavier Henry (-31), 7. Cole Aldrich (-33), 8. Josh Selby (-39), 9. Markieff Morris (-73), 10. Brandon Rush (-78), 11. Drew Gooden (-151).


collegebb 5 years ago

I liked how Keegan said, +/- was a delightful exception to the many meaningless statistics....but then went on to explain how it is meaningless with the example of Chalmers having the third highest +/-, and stating he is not the third best player. I also enjoyed the continuation of the article regarding collison's robotic demeanor, and why JVG is the best NBA color commentator ever.

Michael Auchard 5 years ago

"In general, new-fangled sports statistics rank right down there with sore throats... The migration of the hockey plus-minus statistic to the NBA seven years ago qualifies as a delightful exception."

Um, everything I've ever read from every other talking head in the world of basketball says that +/- is a stat that proves almost absolutely nothing. It's considered one of the least valuable stats in basketball.

Jonathan Allison 5 years ago

it's an OK statistic for comparison of players who are on the same team. But you absolutely cannot use it to compare players who are on different teams.

Of course Chalmers and Collison have the highest +/- because they are on the best teams for one and they get plenty of playing time! Of course Marcus' +/- was close to zero and negative because he barely even played and was on a team that wasn't good. And look at Gooden! He was one of the best players on a team that sucked so of course his number is horrible!

I would look at the teams records if I could and see how close they rank to the way these +/- numbers stacked up. But I don't have the time or the motivation.

paulveer 5 years ago

Wait. Are you saying his coaching no good because it's Spoelstra, or very good because it's Riley through him?

Jonathan Allison 5 years ago

This is either bad writing or bad editing.

I can't figure out why he Keegan would ask the questions "So why is everybody always yelling at him on TV during the most compelling NBA Finals in decades, and is there anything his image consultant can do about it?" and then describe encounters with Bosh and Wade with such detail, and then not even venture a guess toward the answer of the questions!

I want to know why Bosh, Wade, and LeBron were yelling at Chalmers! I want to know why Wade said "I'm not like that!" But I am left to my own assumptions and wondering if Chalmers made a pass at him or something.

This article made me angry.

AndOne 5 years ago

Thanks for the link. Love that pic of Rio and Nick fighting for the loose ball!

KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

Chalmers exhibits bad attitude and whining like his teammates. He really needs to clean it up and stop acting like the world is against him.

Krohnutz 5 years ago

All true. He has developed "Dwayne Wade-itis," and unlike the a$$clowns below in my post, I actually have watched the Heat outside of the 2012 Finals. What you knew under Bill Self is not what you see under "Coach Spo."

kellerman411 5 years ago

That pissed me off when Bosh was yelling in Chalmers face. You're gimpy butt has been riding the pine for weeks while you're team, including Chalmers, carried you to the finals. So, try to contribute and keep your mouth shut. Chalmers did have a bad game but he almost always affects the game positively and the Heat couldn't ask for a more well-rounded role player. He defends ferociously, can get to the bucket and usually can stroke threes. He's making 4 million and the other three are making around 15 million. They need to boost his salary next year. The guy is playing more minutes than D-Wade. He should be making 7-8 million.

ParisHawk 5 years ago

The day Miami traded Beasley, Wade&James&Bosh had not yet signed.

That day Mario Chalmers was the only player on the Miami roster.

How many NBA players have been able to say "I'm not on an NBA team, I AM an NBA team"?

No way Miami would have had the cap space to take the 3 Me-niacs without a starting point guard making less than 1 million a year. Chalmers has been the right man in the right place for Miami in so many ways.

Danny Hernandez 5 years ago

Residing in Miami, you'd think only 3 guys played for Miami. Bosh isn't worth the money they're paying him. Heck, I'd trade Bosh for Collison any day. And Wade screws up more than Chalmers every game

Side note: The Thunder are staying in the hotel/residences where we reside so I've had the opportunity to see the players and say hi to Nick though I forgot my Kansas/Collison Jersey for him to sign. I was able to get a photo with Westbrook though. They depart for the Arena around 10ish so I'll try today. It's a jersey I bought prior to the Regional Finals at the Pond in Anaheim in 03

Bville Hawk 5 years ago

I've got to agree that it is a bit of a disjointed article.

I'm not a bit fan of Jeff Van Gundy, he doesn't give any insight into the game that the average fan doesn't already have. Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell back in the 70s(?) were much better color commentators IMHO.

Jack McEnaney 5 years ago

The most compelling nba finals in decades. Really? More compelling than the celtics lakers from 08 and 10? More compelling than any of Jordans 6 titles? More compelling than any with bird or majic? Its interesting and entertaining to have such stars playing on the same court. But isn't that supposed to happen in the finals? The 2 best teams of the year are playing for the title? No way, that never happens!

WilburNether 5 years ago

"Jeff Van Gundy, the best NBA color commentator ever....."

Obviously, Mr. Keegan has never heard Doug Collins.

Hank Cross 5 years ago

"Jeff Van Gundy, the best NBA color commentator ever"

What I liked about watching the Stanley Cup was that the game moved so fast that there was no time for bloviating color men like Vitale, Van Gundy, Tim McCarver, Cris Collinsworth, etc. to interject statements of the obvious with a pompous delivery. Everbody know that if you can't score and/or don't play you're going to lose. If you're not going to add more than that -stfu.

One of the things I do like about Knight is that he does add an insider's insight at times, although that bit about the shot fake is getting tired.

Hurinfan 5 years ago

I like Mario more than Nick and Cole. I also want LeBron to win his 1st title. Go Heat!

REHawk 5 years ago

I'm hoping that the no-call on James with 7 seconds to go in Game 2 didn't take the wind out of the Thunder sails. What a comeback for OKC in that contest! Durant and Co. handled the foul and subsequent controversy in classy fashion. Is hard for me not to cheer for Mario, but the Heat franchise, somehow, strikes a sour note with my love for the sport. Is refreshing, occasionally, to see Mario growl back at oncourt criticism of the 3 Me-niacs (nice term, ParisHawk).

JayDocMD 5 years ago

Man I wish Keegan had never watched Moneyball...

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

Commisioner Stern wants a seven game series, thus.there will be a seven game series.

Bet the farm on OKC in game four!!

Krohnutz 5 years ago

  1. Chalmers is playing on borrowed time, they want to start Cole at the point It appears the only team that cannot see his value is... The Heat.

  2. I want him out of Miami. They have taught him the "flop" defense that makes me want to puke every time I see it. Obviously, Coach Spo circulated this youtube collection around so they could learn to "play that Heat defense" he preaches about:

  3. The NBA is about to hit an all-time low when a team that is completely unable to run a half-court offense wins a title. Their offensive set is a blend of LeBron/Wade driving to the bucket salted with a heavy dose free throw shooting.

If you are a spot up three point shooter that is unable to dribble before throwing it up, you need to send your application to Coach Spo, care of Mafia Warlord Riley, he has a spot on the perimeter for LeBron to throw it your way. Don't worry about being rusty, El Commish Stern will be sure it goes in.

Bville Hawk 5 years ago

"1. Chalmers is playing on borrowed time, they want to start Cole at the point It appears the only team that cannot see his value is... The Heat.

  1. I want him out of Miami."

You don't know what you're talking about. Please have your wife screen your comments before you actually post.

Krohnutz 5 years ago

This goes to all you a$$clowns that think Pat Riley somehow is enamored with Mario Chalmers and you don't think Norris Cole was drafted as a guarantee he can let Chalmers go and/or not pay him...

I'm sure you guys have been watching the Heat for AT LEAST four games now, and are lifelong fans.

So let's check the scorecard: 2011 = picked up Mike Bibby to replace Mario before realizing that Bibby was 190 years old. 2012 = drafted Norris Cole to fill a "vulnerability" at point guard. 2013 = ?

People act like last night was the first big game he has had in Miami, and somehow that stopped Riley from shopping him every other year. He is treated like a spot shooter, averages less minutes per game now than he did as a rookie, and they signed him for three with an option for the third. If Cole is ready by then, you can watch as Riley shows him the door.

And the "last nighters" seem to forget he threw up two turds the previous games. "Wait until you see your first basketball game, you're going to love it." Yeah, sure, Lifelong Heater fans to the rescue.

kellerman411 5 years ago

You wrote this at 10:46 pm last night... as in... after the game. While you were typing away, Mario carried the Heat through the 4th quarter to a victory and scored 25 points on 9-15 shooting.

Wait until you see your first basketball game, you're going to love it.

W Keith Swinehart II 5 years ago

Not to worry about Mario. He's not their no. 1 point without reason. Just watch the games. He does fine. See the latest article -

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