Arroyo arrival provides true competition for Heat's Chalmers

Ira Winderman – South Florida Sun Sentinel

Suddenly, for the first time since Chalmers was named last season’s Miami Heat opening-night starter, there is legitimate competition at point guard with the signing of free agent Carlos Arroyo.Until the Heat made the move for the eighth-year veteran, Chalmers’ competition had been limited over the past year to the likes of Chris Quinn, Marcus Banks, Shaun Livingston, Luther Head and current camp longshot John Lucas III.

But now there is a veteran in the mix who has started 113 NBA games, one who has served as an understudy to the likes of John Stockton, Mark Jackson and Chauncey Billups.

"I think he’s landslide better than everybody," Heat forward Michael Beasley said of Chalmers’ previous competition.

Beasley, in fact, said it is apparent that the signing of Arroyo has motivated Chalmers, who made the surprise jump to starter after being taken in the second round of the 2008 draft.

"I think he’s taking this move and really getting competitive with it," Beasley said of his closest friend on the team. "Everybody knows Carlos is a great player, a vet, a scorer with court vision. He can do it all. And ‘Rio now got somebody not only to go head-to-head with, but somebody to look up to, somebody to learn off of."

Until Quinn went down last week with a foot injury that will have him in a walking boot for at least a week, Heat President Pat Riley had gone out of his way to avoid the appearance of a challenge to Chalmers’ standing. Chalmers last season became the first Heat rookie to start all 82 regular-season games.

"It’s always going to be competition in practice, when we try to make each other better," Chalmers said after Tuesday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "By him coming in here it helps us out, but there’s no beef, no battle. Everybody is cool. We’re trying to make each other better.",0,1124661.story

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