The New Orleans Pelicans are going to look vastly different in the 2013-2014 NBA season than they did this past year. Not only are they shedding the Hornets nickname, but they have also changed their roster quite a bit. Greivis Vaszquez and Robin Lopez are gone while Jrue Holiday is now in place at point guard, as well as a few other free-agent signings.
However, one player from last year’s team outside of their young core like Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson, is Davis’ teammate at Kentucky, Darius Miller. Last year with New Orleans, Miller played in 52 games, but averaged just 2.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game on 40.7 percent shooting and 39.3 percent shooting from three in 13.3 minutes per game.
Playing with the Pelicans at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, though, Miller has shown why he has a place in this league. Through New Orleans’ four games, Miller has played 29.3 minutes per game and averaged 13.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Most importantly, though he has converted on eight of his 20 attempts from beyond-the-arc.
In Miller’s best season at Kentucky in 2010-2011, before Davis’ arrival, Miller averaged 10.9 points per game and shot 44.3 percent from three. This kid can flat-out shoot and has a niche in this league as a three-point specialist.
With the injury-history of Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers’ one-year showing of general ineptitude in the NBA and so on, the value of a player like Miller in New Orleans is huge. He’s a guy who can come in and knock down outside shots off the bench and spark the offense a little bit. It’s pretty clear that he’s not going to be a star for the Pelicans, but it does seem like Miller’s shooting ability is at a level to where he can land a consistent role with his team.