Last season, the Miami Heat brought on Mike Miller in effort to give their perimeter game a boost. Alongside Shane Battier, the Heat figured to have a couple of savvy veterans who could knock down some shots when called upon — and they were right. Both Battier and Miller were instrumental at times, draining some big shots from beyond the arc en route to a championship.
This offseason, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to bring one of those guys back to town. Memphis signed Miller to come in and do essentially the same thing he did in Miami — score the ball.
While the Grizzlies are more of a defensive-minded team and lacked a lot of pure scorers, Miller made sense for the most part. But, what the team cannot expect is for him to have the same effect he did a year ago in Miami.
Miller played with two of the best in the game, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. On a star-studded cast, Miller was the forgotten one for the majority of the time he was out there — unless it was just one of those nights he caught fire. But, the defense always had to stay honest with James and Wade on the floor.
Heck, even Chris Bosh became a threat down the stretch at some points.
In Memphis, Miller won’t have the luxury to be playing with one of the best in the NBA. The best he can hope for is the inside presence of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph to free him up at times for a shot or two from downtown. Last season, Miller shot nearly 42 percent from long distance. This season, I wouldn’t be surprised if that came down a bit.
Miller will definitely help in scoring overall, but he won’t see the same type of performances he had sprinkled in last season because of the guys he played with. This season, he may have to create some shots on his own — God forbid.