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Player Recaps: Mario Chalmers

By Nick Robinson | April 28, 2022

This nine-part series takes an extensive look at Skyforce players throughout the 2021-22 season. We will highlight season and career highs, as well as the impact each player made on the court. Next , we dive in with starting point guard Mario Chalmers. 

When Chalmers arrived to Sioux Falls in mid-January fresh of a 10-day hardship contract with the Miami HEAT, he became arguably the most decorated player to don a Skyforce jersey.

The Alaska native won an NCAA Championship for the Kansas Jayhawks and was a contributing factor of two NBA Finals runs for Miami in the Heatles Era.

He spent nine years in the NBA and parts of three seasons overseas before returning to the United States in 2021-22.

Prior to Chalmers’ 10-day with the HEAT, he played in the Winter Showcase for the Grand Rapids Gold, where he averaged 8.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per 27.9 minutes.

Chalmers signed with the Skyforce on January 14 and made an immediate impact on the court for Sioux Falls. He appeared in 31 games for the Skyforce, averaging 11.3 points, a team-high 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds per 25.5 minutes.

He scored in double figures in six of 10 February games and added seven-plus assists in five of those games. The Force was 4-1 when he had seven-plus assists in the month of February.

On March 4, Chalmers put together one of his most complete games for the Skyforce, with 14 points on 4-8 3PA, an NBA G League career-high 13 assists, seven rebounds and two steals in a victory over the Texas Legends.

In that four-game stretch from March 3-March 10, Chalmers scored over 14 points in three of four games, while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep in three contests.

As the Force were looking to make a Western Conference playoff push in March, Chalmers upped his efficiency on offense, as he averaged 6.3 assists per game, while compiling a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, both season highs in a month.

Chalmers posted four of his five 10-plus-assist games in the month and eight-plus in three of his final four games.

To close out the 2021-22 campaign, Chalmers combined to score 43 points on 10-18 FGA (5-10 3PA), five rebounds, 20 assists and three steals.

His NBA G League career-high came in the season finale on April 2 against the South Bay Lakers, where he netted 26 points and added nine assists.

Not many young players looking to crack an NBA roster are able to pick an NBA Champions mindset of what he sees on the court, and the players in Sioux Falls made the most of their opportunity to share the floor with Chalmers.

When it was said and done, you knew what you’d get out of the steady pick-and-roll maestro. His ability to lead an offense and guide the young Skyforce players was a major benefit for Head Coach Kasib Powell.