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.
“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.