Has Mario Chalmers been benched?

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It’s unwise to take too much from games played in the preseason, especially in Miami, where runs to the Finals may have the team’s key players less than motivated for games played in the early days of October.

Mario Chalmers, though, may have something to prove.

As the player most often called out on the court for mistakes by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Chalmers is used to taking his fair share of abuse. But now that James is gone, and with the Heat in need of legitimate point guard play more than ever, things may be getting tenuous for him in terms of his starting spot.

From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald:

Is Mario Chalmers benched?

I raise this question based on purely anecdotal evidence, if you even want to call it that.

After a long day of practice, in which the team ran over its scheduled stopping time by at least an hour, Chalmers posted this to Instagram:

“After the day of negativity I had it’s good to b around some positive energy…”

Chalmers was 0-for-2 from the field in 21 minutes of action in Miami’s preseason opener, and finished with just two assists against two turnovers. But Wade was only 2-of-7 from the field, and Chris Bosh was 3-of-13.

The long practice was likely Spoelstra’s way of impressing the importance upon his veterans that the focus needs to improve in order for the team to continue to compete at a high level with LeBron having moved on. But just as it’s been throughout his career, Chalmers may continue to be the one who takes the brunt of the criticism.