Miami Heat news: Mario Chalmers says assists are up and tongue-lashings are down

MIAMI – The on-court lashings have yet to occur.

For the past two seasons, Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers was often on the receiving end of yells from higher-profile teammates when he played poorly. These days, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been quiet when it comes to verbally scolding Chalmers.

"We haven't been on his back," James said. "He's been playing well, so no need to be on him."

Chalmers has been one of the brightest stars thus far. He had 11 assists in Monday's win against the Phoenix Suns. It was his second performance as such of the season, reaching the total in the season-opener against the Boston Celtics.


Chalmers is averaging seven assists a game, easily the most productive start in his five-year career. He averaged a career-high 4.9 as a rookie in 2008-09.

"It's a little bit of everything to be fair about it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's really improved reading the defense, reading the game, being a playmaker, getting us organized with the offense. The assists are a recipient of good ball movement and letting the offense generate a good shot for us."

Chalmers said he's benefited from having more opportunities. With Wade and James playing off the ball more and the presence of Ray Allen, it has made it easier for Chalmers to set up teammates.

"Me having the ball more in my hands and just trying to get on the (fast) break more," Chalmers said. "My teammates are doing a good job of knocking down shots. They're getting to their spots where they like to get the ball and we're doing a good job moving the ball."

Pittman held out

Center Dexter Pittman was the only player to miss Tuesday's practice. He has yet to play this season because of a leg strain.

Spoelstra said his status will be evaluated daily, but he is expected to miss Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets.

"He's getting better," Spoelstra said. "No timetable. It will always be day to day."

Allen open for three

Guard Ray Allen was expected to be the beneficiary of open shots because the presence of James, Wade and center Chris Bosh.

He just didn't think he would benefit this much.

Allen is shooting 60 percent from 3-point range, with most of his attempts being uncontested.

"With LeBron on the floor, that has an effect," Allen said. "With D-Wade on the floor, that has an effect. The challenge is so immense for the opposing teams. The other teams are saying you have to guard your guy and then try to keep him from doing one thing or another … They don't know who to stop and who to guard."

Steve Kerr and Tim Legler hold the single-season record for highest 3-point percentage (52 percent).

Unselfish approach

The Heat are coming off arguably their most impressive offensive performance of the Big Three era. Nine different players recorded an assist in Monday's 124-99 victory against the Phoenix Suns. In addition to Chalmers, Wade and Allen each had six assists.

"That was probably the most unselfish team I've ever played against since I've been in the NBA," Suns guard Jared Dudley said. "It was drive, kick, swing, penetrate, flair. I mean, they were hitting everyone. Even when someone had a good shot, they would make an extra pass to someone who had an even better shot. That's the way basketball is supposed to be played."

Bosh assists troops

Bosh on Tuesday teamed with America's Moms for Soldiers to stuff care packages for U.S soldiers serving overseas. The event took place at AmericanAirlines Arena.

America's Moms for Soliders is a Pompano Beach based non-profit organization that is responsible for mailing more 1,000 care packages each month to troops. For more information, visit americasmomforsoldiers.com


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