Mike Miller Playing Like Much Younger Man as Stars Rest for Miami Heat
It’s that time of the 2012-2013 NBA season when the Miami Heat have already clinched the Eastern Conference and are subsequently resting their stars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade so that they are healthy and fresh for the playoffs. This has obviously opened up larger roles and opportunities for players who really haven’t seen the floor much this year. Mike Miller is one of those players.
Miller has played in just 51 games for the Heat this season and has averaged just 13.6 minutes of time on the floor. In that extremely limited role, Miller has averaged just 3.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game on just 40 percent shooting from the floor and 37.8 three-point shooting. The 13-year veteran’s age and injury history was definitely starting to show.
However, over the last two games when Wade and LeBron have been out of the lineup, Miller has recaptured his youth and whatever possessed him to explode in game five of last year’s NBA Finals.
Over this short two-game span, Miller has averaged 30.5 minutes per game, an obvious increase in his role. He has also averaged a fantastic stat-line of 15 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and one block per game. The most impressive part about his play in these last two games is the fact that he is shooting 55 percent from the field and has converted on eight of his 14 three-point attempts. He’s definitely not looked like “Old Man” Miller over this recent stretch.
The Heat won’t be using Miller in this large of role in the postseason; that’s for certain. However, if Miller can come off of the bench and provide a spark by playing at the level that he is right now, that will make Miami even more dynamic than they already are. If Miller can continue submitting this type of performance in the postseason, the rest of the league is definitely in trouble, as if they weren’t already.