Carlos Arroyo to miss game for Heat

Updated: December 15, 2010, 2:38 PM ET
By Kevin Arnovitz | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- Starting point guard Carlos Arroyo will miss the Heat's game against Cleveland on Wednesday night due to the death of his grandfather.

Arroyo is in Puerto Rico to be with family.

At the team's shootaround on Wednesday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said reserve Mario Chalmers will start in Arroyo's place at point guard.

Spoelstra expects guard Eddie House, who has seen limited minutes in recent weeks, to also log minutes in the backcourt on Wednesday.

As a rookie, Chalmers started all 82 games at point guard for the Heat during the 2008-09 season, and 23 games during his sophomore season. He recognizes that conditions have changed since the days he presided over the Heat's offense.

"Right now, we're a different team. We have LeBron [James], D-Wade," Chalmers said.

But the young point guard maintains that running point for the Heat's current squad isn't as different as it might seem.

"[In 2008-09], D-Wade was still running the point sometime, and sometimes [James and Wade] still run the point. So it's kind of a mixture of both."

Chalmers suffered a high left ankle sprain during summer workouts and saw only limited action during the Heat's first 16 games, playing only 73 minutes.

He formally entered the Heat's backcourt rotation on Nov. 27 in Dallas, after Spoelstra made an adjustment to keep a true point guard on the floor for the Heat at virtually all times.

Arroyo has provided the Heat with solid offensive contributions as a starter. This season, he's posting career highs in field goal percentage and shooting better than 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Many of those shots have been open looks from the weak side, while opposing defenses devoted the majority of their attention to guarding Dwyane Wade and James.

"[Arroyo] was coming out early making shots, making teams pay," Wade said. "With [opponents] doubling myself and LeBron and leaving them open he was making those shots. So Mario will have to step into the role and understand what teams are going to do to him, especially early in ball games. They're going to make him make shots. He has to be ready to do it.

"We've been very confident in Mario, especially late in games," Wade said. "He's been allowed to finish a lot of games with us. He's a good defensive guard. We just need him to continue to have that confidence to make plays and make shots."

This season, Chalmers is averaging 3.8 points and 2.1 assists in 15.5 minutes per game, with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 10.2.

Kevin Arnovitz covers the NBA for ESPN.com.

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