Heat’s Mario Chalmers: ‘I don’t even really know what my role is on this team anymore’

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Miami losing in Cleveland by 26 points on Thursday wasn’t much of a surprise, especially once Dwyane Wade went down with a knee injury that may force him to miss some time.

But should the Heat miss the playoffs — a real possibility now, with just seven games left in the regular season — it’s fair to say that would come as a shock to the Miami system.

The Heat have been in the postseason picture all year long, but now find themselves clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. A back-to-back in Detroit and Indiana looms large these next two games, and while four of the final five are at home, two are against teams fighting for playoff positioning in the Raptors and the Bulls.

It won’t be easy for Miami to get there, and things may be even more difficult if the players aren’t all on the same page. Mario Chalmers spoke publicly about that last part on Thursday, claiming he’s uncertain of his role now at this late stage of the season.

From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald:

“I don’t even really know what my role is on this team anymore,” Chalmers told the Miami Herald. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.” …

At different times this season, Chalmers has started at point guard and also at shooting guard. He also has backed up those two positions, and sometimes during the same game. …

“A lot of people are out of rhythm, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen — when you’re going to get the ball, when you’re going to shoot it, you just never know. You just got to be ready for everything, I guess,” Chalmers said.

This isn’t Chalmers complaining about his role, which is something that’s made clear in the article; it’s more an expression of frustration than anything else.

But if there are deeper issues between Chalmers and the Heat, Miami wouldn’t have a problem finding a taker for him in trade this summer. Chalmers is a seven-year veteran point guard with championship experience, and will be entering the final year of his contract, which will have him on the books for a reasonable $4.3 million next season.

Dorian Finney-Smith slams putback dunk on two Timberwolves (video)

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The Mavericks have the best offensive rating (117.5 on Basketball-Reference) in NBA history.

That’s in part because Dallas is an excellent offensive-rebounding team.

Dorian Finney-Smith took it to the next level in the Mavericks’ win over the Timberwolves yesterday:

Poor Treveon Graham and Jarrett Culver.

Report: Woman drops sexual-assault lawsuit against Kings coach Luke Walton

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The NBA closed its investigation into Kings coach Luke Walton – whom Kelli Tennant sued, alleging sexual assault – without finding wrongdoing.

Walton – who denied the allegations from his time as a Warriors assistant coach and Lakers head coach – won’t face a civil trial, either.

TMZ:

The woman who accused Luke Walton of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2017 has officially dropped her lawsuit against the NBA coach, TMZ Sports has learned.

Unclear if Walton and Tennant struck a settlement — but it’s not uncommon in situations like this.

We might eventually learn details of a settlement. But with Tennant not cooperating with the NBA investigation and now dropping her lawsuit, Walton will likely get to continue his coaching career without this hanging over him.

It’s often difficult for victims of sexual abuse to prove the crime occurred. Likewise, it’s often difficult for wrongfully accused people to prove their innocence. Tennant’s main allegation occurred in a hotel room with only she and Walton present.

Hopefully, justice prevailed here.

Blake Griffin inadvertently hits referee in face (video)

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Blake Griffin kept causing problems during the Pistons’ loss to the Bucks last night.

He and Giannis Antetokounmpo went face-to-face a couple times. At one point, Griffin bumped down and stepped over Antetokounmpo, prompting Khris Middleton to confront the Detroit star.

But Griffin saved his most devastating work for referee Scott Twardoski.

Griffin extended his arm and whacked Twardoski in the face, flooring the official. Play stopped for Twardoski to recover. The replay doesn’t do the contact justice. Twardoski was moving quickly up the floor when he ran straight into Griffin’s hand.

At least it wasn’t as bad as this legendary Carlos Boozer moment:

Out of game, shoeless LeBron James waves towel on court near play (video)

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LeBron James wasn’t about that NBA-rulebook life last night.

Not only did he get away with a comically blatant travel, he – ostensibly out of the game – later wandered onto the court during play. He got pretty close to the action, waving his towel in celebration of consecutive Kyle Kuzma blocks.

And LeBron was wearing only socks on his feet. He had already given his shoes away to young fans – with 4:20 left! Sure, the Lakers were up 19 on the Jazz, but that’s a lot of time remaining. What a kind and totally disrespectful gesture, a real do-it-all move.

Restless-late-in-a-blowout LeBron is the best LeBron.