Darius Miller Injury Means New Orleans Pelicans Need Al-Farouq Aminu to Be Solid
The New Orleans Pelicans recently found out that they will be without Darius Miller for the next two-to-three months, meaning that Miller will miss all of training camp and an unsure amount of time at the start of the 2013-2014 NBA season.
Coming into his second year in the league, the Pelicans likely were going to use Miller in a reserve role at both wing positions. Obviously that won’t be an option now as they start the season. Because of that, the Pelicans are going to be forced to rely more heavily upon fourth-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who New Orleans signed to a three-year extension this summer before he entered the final year of his rookie deal.
Aminu offers up a far different skill-set than Miller does. Miller has the potential to be a fantastic scoring threat from long-range off of the bench, while Aminu is more of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type of player.
Last season for New Orleans, he played in 76 games and averaged 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.2 minutes per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, but only 21.1 percent from three-point range.
Aminu showed real improvement on the offensive end of the floor last season as he had shot just 39.4 percent and 41.1 percent from the floor in his two previous NBA seasons. However, his offensive game is still incredibly limited and his jumper still needs a great deal of work. He offers a lot in terms of rebounding off of the wing, but he’s also not that great of a defender for someone with his length and athleticism.
While Miller is out with the injury, the Pelicans need Aminu to be solid for them, but also not to try and do too much. They will need him to remain active offensively, cutting and moving without the ball, which is where he finds most of his success. New Orleans will also look for his rebounding to stay at the level that it was last season and would benefit if his defense could improve. He may not be relied upon as a star this season, but his performance, especially early on without Miller, will be a key factor in their success.
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