The NBA selected five players from the Heat for the Eastern Conference All-Star ballot, including guards Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen. Forwards and perennial All-Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh also are on the ballot.
Fans can vote for players through a variety of social-media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Votes can also be cast via SMS messages by texting a player’s name to 6-9-6-2-2 or by visiting NBA.com. The Heat and Clippers were the only teams with three guards on the ballots. The Golden State Warriors led all teams with six players on the Western Conference ballot.
Chalmers, who is in his sixth season in the NBA, has appeared on All-Star ballots in the past and is having an impressive start to the season. Entering Friday’s game, Chalmers was averaging 10.4 points, 5.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 27.8 minutes while shooting 44.6 percent from the field, a career-high 57.7 percent from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the foul line.
“We always say around here when Rio is playing at a high level that it’s almost impossible to beat us,” James said. “The way he has been playing this year so far, he has been playing some great ball.”
Entering Friday, James led the Heat in points (204), assists (58), field goals made (75) and free throws made (40). He was averaging 25.5 points, 7.3 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 36.4 minutes while shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.
Twenty-one players in the NBA were averaging over 20 points per game entering Friday night’s action. It’s early in the season, but that surge in individual scoring is unusual. Last season, only nine players in the league finished with at least 20 points per game. Shane Battier, also keen on trends in the league, offered a theory for the numbers.
“What I think you’re seeing in the NBA is a lot what we do on offense and what the Spurs do on offense,” Battier said. “A lot more space seems to be created on the offensive end, and it’s no secret. If you create space and give talented people room to operate, they’re going to produce.”
Udonis Haslem (backs spasms) and Allen (flu-like symptoms) did not play against the Mavericks. Allen, who has been sick for several days, did not travel with the team to Charlotte, N.C., after Friday’s game. The Heat plays the Bobcats on Saturday.
Allen and Greg Oden were inactive against Dallas, but Oden traveled with the team for the one-game trip. Oden did not travel on the Heat’s last one-game trip to Toronto. Oden remained in Miami to train, according to coach Erik Spoelstra.
Wade, who did not play in the second game of the Heat’s first back-to-back of the season, will be evaluated Saturday morning in Charlotte. Wade said before Friday’s game that his status against Charlotte would be determined by how his knee feels Saturday.
The Heat’s three-year run of consecutive trips to the NBA Finals has given its players an interesting perspective on their careers and a deep appreciation for the small margin between winning and losing.
“You never know you’re going to win it until you win it. Until the clock is all zeros and the season is over,” Bosh said. “Just being able to do it twice in consecutive years is special, and it really makes you cherish moments because, like we’ve seen, you can be one bounce away from winning and losing and a whole season can come down to one possession, and it’s such a delicate thing that you just have to pay attention to everything and just cherish everything as you go along.”
• Bosh, on the Mavericks’ struggles since winning it all in 2011 and owner Mark Cuban’s decision to not seriously pursue back-to-back titles:
“I’m surprised, especially going for a sweepstakes, that didn’t pan out like they thought. To always have that feeling in the back of their minds, just what if we would have come together, I couldn’t imagine winning one championship here and then not bringing the band back together again.”