MIAMI (AP) Mario Chalmers’ phone has been ringing for the last few weeks, the calls coming from teams curious about how his recovery is progressing.
He’s about to have a concrete answer.
Chalmers is on target to be cleared for full basketball activity this week, eight months after rupturing his right Achilles tendon. He thinks he could be on an NBA floor again by early December.
”Right now, I can pretty much do everything,” Chalmers said. ”I’ve been on the court the last two, three months just working on getting back. I’m back to sprinting, running and jumping.”
He’s always been supremely confident in his game. That hasn’t changed.
”Never will, either,” Chalmers said.
The 30-year-old was a starter on Miami’s title teams in 2012 and 2013 – among active players, only Tony Parker has also been a starting point guard on multiple championship squads. Miami went to the NBA Finals in four straight seasons when Chalmers was with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but the 2014 title series still causes Chalmers some angst.
”My last performance in the Finals, that’s the one thing I do want to change if I ever get the opportunity again,” Chalmers said. ”That’s the one thing that really sticks out in my mind.”
So he’ll look to sign with a title contender.
Chalmers knows it’ll be a prove-yourself deal for the rest of this season, and that he’ll almost certainly be asked to serve in a backup role. He’s fine with that, saying a chance is all he needs right now.
”I’ve been to four Finals,” Chalmers said. ”There’s a lot I can share. And whatever nervousness I have coming back, it’s all going to be gone as soon as that first shot goes in.”
James Harden is having a November to remember.
In six games so far this month, the Houston guard is averaging 30.3 points, 14.2 assists and 8.5 rebounds. He’s got triple-doubles in his last two games, something only Elvin Hayes has done in Rockets history. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harden is the first NBA player with at least 24 points and 12 assists in six straight games.
Houston plays Philadelphia on Monday. Last season in two games against the 76ers, Harden averaged 39.5 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
NBA teams have the option this season of reviewing video in real-time on their benches during games.
It doesn’t seem to be widely utilized yet.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich says he has no interest, and Sacramento coach Dave Joerger is among the many still wondering what the best way is to add real-time access to their in-game routines. Teams have been able to use video on the bench for the past few seasons, provided it was uploaded first. This real-time option, the NBA said, was in the interest of streamlining.
”I haven’t wanted to do it just to do it,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. ”I want it to be productive.”
The Jazz load their players up with tons of film around games. If a player wants more, Snyder will accommodate.
”If one guy wants to do it, I’d be ready to do it tomorrow,” Snyder said.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Some games to note this week:
Orlando at Indiana, Monday: Magic coach Frank Vogel gets to reunite with his former club, one that has sputtered early.
Toronto at Cleveland, Tuesday: The Cavs ”held” DeMar DeRozan to 32 points on Oct. 28, his second-lowest output this season.
Houston at Oklahoma City, Wednesday: James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook. You don’t need any more reason to watch.
San Antonio at L.A. Lakers, Friday: The Lakers have wins over the Hawks, Warriors and Rockets. Here’s another proving ground.
Golden State at Milwaukee, Saturday: The Warriors went to Milwaukee 24-0 last season, and left 24-1. Guessing they remember.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Stephen Curry, Golden State: During his NBA-record spree of 3-pointers last Monday, he missed as many shots from inside the paint (four) as he did from beyond the arc. Curry finished with 46 points, shooting 13 of 17 from beyond the arc.