A Friday Heat update:
### Colleagues Joe Goodman and Greg Cote will have pieces on LeBron and CrampGate posted later, but here's a Cliff Notes version of where things stand:
The Spurs announced the air conditioning at AT & T Center has been fixed. LeBron said he "should be 100 percent" on Sunday, though he said was "pretty sore" on Friday "from muscles spasming up."
He said he has done all he can to prevent cramping, but the issue has happened several times, in high school, in the 2012 NBA Finals and several other incidents.
"The body just decides to shut down. I've hydrated as much as I could, to the point where your stomach feels like you can't take it anymore.... I could have gotten myself in more trouble if I had tried to play through a cramp and I pulled something and it got worse."
LeBron conceded it was "bad timing on my part. It's not an excuse but there were some extreme conditions."
Erik Spoelstra said James took seven cramping pills Thursday and James said he had 2 1/2 bags of IV last night. He said he had to get up six or seven times between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. and couldn't sleep at all.
James said he has been tested for cramps throughout his career and has been cleared medically.
"Very angry, very disappointed in myself," he said. "Body failed me. Wasn't there to help my teammates when they needed me."
Mario Chalmers doesn’t necessarily need to deliver one of those classic Mario moments, such as a key late-game basket or a 20-point outburst. But the Heat needs a more efficient, productive Chalmers than the one who was turnover-prone and foul-prone in the Heat’s Game 1 loss.
“Everybody knew I was frustrated with the foul trouble I got into early,” he said. “When I got back in the game, I was trying to press too much, trying to get back the minutes I wasn’t playing. I’ve got to be more patient in my pick and rolls and try to find more gaps.”
Limited to 17 minutes by foul trouble, Chalmers committed five turnovers compared with one assist and scored three points, missing two of three shots. Tony Parker, who was outscored by Chalmers in the final two games of last year’s Finals, thoroughly outplayed him Thursday, with 19 points and twice as many assists (eight) as turnovers.
“I’ve got to be careful with my touch fouls,” Chalmers said. “I get a lot of touch fouls, got to figure out a way to adjust to the referees.”
Coach Erik Spoelstra said Chalmers “needs to be more attentive to technique and [quicker] in his thought process.”
Chalmers’ 2.3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio in postseason is actually slightly better than his regular season ratio, but his scoring average is down from 9.8 to 6.8. In fact, the 6.8 would be the fewest points per game he has averaged in a postseason, down from 11.3 and 9.4 during the Heat’s past two championship runs.
That’s largely a result of taking fewer shots. Chalmers averaged 9.0 field-goal attempts per game in the Heat’s 2011-12 title run, and 8.0 last postseason.
This postseason, that number has plunged to 5.8. Chalmers is shooting well on threes (40.5 percent) but has taken only 37, compared with 92 and 68 over the previous two postseasons.
“The shot is always open, so you’re supposed to shoot those shots,” he said. But “I’ve got to keep my teammates involved.”
Chalmers said there is “nothing injury-wise, nothing personal” that’s affecting him, but he indicated he’s still adjusting to a subtle change that Erik Spoelstra made.
“I don’t think I’m handling as much as I was in the previous playoffs,” he said. “But it’s something coach made an adjustment to. I’ve got to figure out another way to be effective.”
So even in his fourth Finals, Chalmers conceded Friday that he is “just trying to figure out where I fit in in the playoffs right now.”
Shane Battier reiterated Thursday that when Chalmers “plays well, we play well. When he takes care of the ball, we’re a markedly better team. Turnovers were an issue [for him in Game 1]. There wasn’t the crispness we needed. Against Parker, when you are not dialed in, it makes for a long night.”
WADE SPEAKS OUT
Spoelstra played nine players in Game 1, opting not to use Udonis Haslem, among others, and Dwyane Wade said that must change.
“We’ve got to go a little deeper into our bench,” he said. “I look forward to us using more guys next game, keep guys fresher. I feel part of our downfall in that game was mental and physical fatigue down the stretch.”
### The Heat is 12-0 after its past 12 postseason losses. Also, the Heat lost the first game in each of the past two Finals --- against Oklahoma City and San Antonio --- but went on to win both series.
### Bosh and Shane Battier laughed uproariously when informed that Jonathan Martin, who quit the Dolphins midway through last season, tweeted during the game about James: “C’mon bruh. Drink a Gatorade and get out there.”
Said Battier: "Everyone's got an opinion."