MIAMI, FL - JUNE 19: Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat drives for a shot attempt in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 19, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Larry W. Smith-Pool/Getty Images)
It happened again. On a big stage Mario Chalmers stepped up to the plate. As Kansas fans we've seen it before. It was often expected during his time as a Jayhawk but since leaving for the NBA 'Super Mario' hasn't been known as a go to guy. Often that is due to the fact that he's the point guard on a team loaded with talent, but last night he had an opportunity.
With the Thunder rallying in the 4th quarter and Lebron James struggling with cramping issues, Mario Chalmers was the driving force in the 4th quarter for the Heat. Okay, so maybe Lebron still played a large role, but Chalmers scored 12 points in the 4th, 25 points overall and slashed to the bucket for a key baskets late in game four.
The win for Miami puts Lebron James on the verge of his first championship, but it also puts Chalmers on the verge of joining some pretty elite company. Players boasting both an NCAA championship and an NBA championship are few in number and the former Kansas Jayhawk hero is about to accomplish just that.
Perhaps the best part in all of that is the fact that Chalmers now has a fairly significant role in accomplishing that feat. During the NBA Finals it hasn't been a particularly smooth ride through the first three games. Chalmers struggled from the field and even through the first quarter it looked as though he might not ever get things on track. Then Chalmers started to attack the basket, get in a rhythm and knock down shots.
Obviously if the Heat go on to win this will be and should be considered Lebron's title. Even Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have to step aside and acknowledge that. But in some small way, Mario Chalmers, one of the 'little two' starting for the Heat, made his presence felt and it was a game four win that should all but secure the championship.