Miami Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers is questionable for Wednesday’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats after bruising his knee Sunday in Game 1.
Chalmers was limited in practice Tuesday and will be reevaluated by team trainers before Wednesday morning’s shootaround and then again before Game 2 of the first-round playoff series.
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The Heat probably don’t need Chalmers to win Game 2, but if they’re committed to starting Udonis Haslem, it could help in the long run.
Miami’s Game 1 starting lineup – Chalmers, Haslem, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – played just 68 minutes together during the regular season and struggled in that limited sample (offensive rating: 85.4/defensive rating: 95.1/net rating: -9.8). The unit was also outscored by 13 points in nine minutes during Game 1.
Ideally for the Heat, they can give that lineup more time to find its groove, but that’s not necessarily about winning this series.
Charlotte, especially if Jefferson is hobbled, probably lacks the juice to seriously threaten the Heat, even if Norris Cole and Toney Douglas take larger roles.
Erik Spoelstra should think long term. On one hand, that means letting Chalmers get healthy, but that also means Chalmers and the other starters developing chemistry. How Chalmers feels should dictate which way the coach falls.