I will be one of the first ones to admit that I had a different reason for 'hating' Mario Chalmers before he was traded to Memphis. I am not a Memphis Tigers Basketball fan, so I honestly cant feel the pain everyone felt back in 2008 when Chalmers hit the game tying three point shot to send the NCAA Championship Game to OT.
Living in St. Louis, I grew up supporting the Missouri Tigers. It was instinctive for me to hate the University of Kansas. Unfortunately I cannot apologize for Mizzou's Sweet 16 victory over Memphis in 2009. Now back to Chalmers!
Chalmers Mania has spread in Memphis like an uncontrolled wildfire. The savvy veteran point guard has brought his championship swagger to a team that was floundering just one week ago.
While I honestly miss Beno Udrih's presence on this team, I can't fault Chris Wallace for making this trade. Chalmers is a much better defender than Udrih was. He has shown speed on defense that an aging Udrih didn't have when playing against some of the NBA's best. Rio's offensive skill set was a bigger concern for me after the trade was finalized.
Before Rio came to Memphis, he was shooting nine percent from three. Since his acquisition, he's hit 7-of-12 attempts from three. He's provided an offensive spark the Grizzlies have desperately needed.
No one expects Chalmers to score 29 points every night like he did last night against Oklahoma City. If he can consistently score 10-15 points per game coming off the bench, he might help this team secure a top four seed in the Western Conference.
Taking three of those four games would be a victory for Memphis. Houston is struggling, while Dallas and San Antonio sit just ahead of the Grizzlies in the Southwest Division standings. Chalmers will play a huge role in the Grizzlies success over these next few games.
How long can Chalmers Mania last? Give us your predictions in the comments below!