Changing of the Guard

Carlos Arroyo is the Heat's new starting point guard

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    MIAMI - APRIL 27: Head coach Erik Spoelstra talks with Mario Chalmers #6 of the Miami Heat as official Bennett Salvatore #15 talks with Ronald Murray #22 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2009 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 Doug Benc/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Erik Spoelstra;Mario Chalmers;Bennett Salvatore;Ronald Murray

    Mario Chalmers is a nice player. A decent defender and shooter. And now he is a back up.

    The Miami Heat have pretty much made it official that Chalmers will be living it up with Udonis Haslem on the bench at the start of games after the second-year guard has been practicing mostly with the second team the past few days.

    Bench Rituals

    Chalmers was benched against Toronto on Monday for the first time in his NBA career and the team promptly put a hurting on the Raptors with journeyman point guard Carlos Arroyo running with the starting unit.

    Usually team President Pat Riley makes these types of talent evaluations quickly and not 111 games into the investment. but the move had to be made, for the team and for the sake of Dwyane Wade, who needs to get something, anything, from his back court running mate.

    But it's not all bad news for Chalmers.

    Maybe 'Rio, Haslem and Daequan Cook can come up with one of those snazzy dance routines after Wade scores his first bucket of the game like the Los Angeles Lakers scrubs do at the beginning of each game.

    Chalmers' averages aren't terrible, just not starter worthy. His nine points and four assists would come in handy with the second unit and he wouldn't have to go up against starting point guards of the opposing team, who have baked him pretty much all season.

    Hopefully Chalmers will use this as a learning experience and swallow that ego. he will have a great example sitting next to him in perennial starter Haslem, who is still ultra-productive coming off the pine.

    Now by no means is Arroyo the answer to the team's long term questions at the point, but he is more aggressive than Chalmers and isn't afraid to take an open shot. And as far as we can tell, Wade hasn't given him the silent treatment as he has Chalmers in recent weeks.

    And don't think for a minute Wade hasn't signed off on this move. He needs the floor to be opened up and a running mate who can get him the ball in the right spots. Right now, the coaching staff sees that in Arroyo.

    Hopefully, Chalmers will be taking notes from the bench.