Blog Entry

Heat PG Mario Chalmers to start for Mike Bibby

Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:47 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 8:01 pm
The Miami Heat have inserted point guard Mario Chalmers into their starting lineup for Game 6 instead of Mike Bibby. Posted by Ben Golliver.

In our NBA Finals Game 6 preview, we wondered whether Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would make any adjustments with the desperation factor ratcheted up in an elimination game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Spoelstra has indeed made a change: The Heat will start point guard Mario Chalmers instead of the usual starter, Mike Bibby, in Game 6 on Sunday night.

Chalmers has played well for the Heat throughout the Finals, averaging 10/6 points, 2.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game. He's also shooting 42.9 percent from deep. He has emerged as a steady presence for Miami, spacing the floor well, making good decisions and doing his best to stay with Dallas' guards. 

Bibby, meanwhile, has struggled. He's a defensively liability because of his age and is shooting just 29.4 percent from deep, averaging 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 17.2 minutes per game against the Mavericks.

The move comes shortly after Spoelstra told reporters in his pre-game media availibility that he did not want to over-react by changing his starting lineup. A little bit of gamesmanship.

This is Chalmers' first start since March 19. He started 28 games during the regular season. 
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