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Tag:Mike Miller
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:45 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:01 am
 

Report Card: King James takes over

Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore

lebron-james-eyes

LeBron James


There were plenty of reasons to shut it down and coast when things got off to a bad start on Tuesday night. Three straight losses entering a tough contest with the San Antonio Spurs. A 14-point halftime deficit. No Dwyane Wade. He was reportedly battling a cold. An opponent seemingly clicking on all cylinders and doing back-breaking things like hitting a half court shot at the end of the first half. But LeBron James went the other way, exploding in the third quarter for 17 points on his way to one of his stupefying stat lines: 33 points, 5 rebounds and 10 assists on 12-21 shooting in 35 minutes. James connected on four 3-pointers in this one, more than he'd made in the entire season combined up to this point. Thanks to James, the Heat won the third quarter 39-12 and never looked back, cruising to a 120-98 home victory. -- BG

Mike Miller


Mike Miller made his season debut on Tuesday night after sitting for the first three weeks as he recovered from a sports hernia surgery. His return was, well, flawless. iller played just 15 minutes, barely enough time to get fully warm, and hadn't played in an NBA game in roughly 8 months yet he shot 6-for-6 from the field, all 3-pointers, to finish with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Ridiculous. He brought the hustle, too, as he crashed after loose balls multiple times but this game was all about making San Antonio pay for leaving him. -- BG

Chris Bosh


This right here is arguably the best play of Chris Bosh's career. It came near the end of an excellent two-way performance, one that will no doubt get overshadowed by James' explosion. Bosh finished with 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 setals on 14-22 shooting in 37 minutes. On this play, he corralled a defensive rebound, slowly pushed tempo. When no Heat guards came to collect the ball, Bosh casually dribbled at Spurs big man Tiago Splitter before unleashing a reverse spin move as he entered the paint and rising to slam with two hands. He swung so forcefully on the rim that he nearly hit his head on the backboard. Sensational stuff. -- BG


Utah Jazz


We harp on teams all the time for not taking care of business against weaker opposition or at home. With an excellent homecourt advantage and the absence of both Chris Paul and Mo Williams, a Tuesday night match-up is a should-win for the Jazz, even if no one is quite sure what their ceiling or basement is yet. Not only did Utah win, they blew out the Clippers, beating them at their own highlight-manufacturing game. Blake Griffin took a backseat to Jeremy Evans for a night, as Utah's long leaper through down alley-oop after alley-oop, adding two high altitude blocks for good measure. The Jazz's second half was a clinic on how to close the door on a beaten team, as they opened the game up with well-timed passes, hard cuts and excellent team defense. Rookie Enes Kanter fiinished with 10 points and 5 rebounds, cracking double-digits as a pro for the first time. And, wouldn't you know it, a strong two-handed dunk was included in that output. -- BG

George Karl's Second Quarter


Karl used seven players in three different lineup combinations during a 19-4 run against Milwaukee. He relied on Corey Brewer, who no one has ever relied on, and he delivered with 10 points in the quarter. Having depth on a team is one thing. Using it effectively is another. -- MM

David Lee


David Lee is playing well. On defense, even. He's got the tenacity of his Knicks days, a better offensive repertoire and keeps coming up with big buckets in key moments. The Warriors needed a big year from Lee and so far he's giving it to them. -- MM

Brandon Jennings' Fourth Quarter


He was rallying! And dropping floaters! And hitting threes! And the lead was single-digits! And then he took a series of Kobe shots. You know, 40-foot threes off the dribble. So close, Jitterbug. So close. -- MM

Cleveland Cavaliers


Truth be told, the Cavs kind of outplayed the Warriors on a lot of levels. But their turnovers destroyed them. Kyrie Irving had six all his own. His overall performance was great, but the turnovers were deadly. The Cavaliers are looking good in losses, though, and that's a step in the right direction. -- MM

San Antonio Spurs' Second Half


That's how bad they were in the second half. They deserve two "F"s. May God have mercy have their soul. -- MM
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:13 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:03 am
 

Heat F Mike Miller makes debut after hernia

Posted by Ben Golliver mike-miller

He's not Dwyane Wade, but every healthy body counts in Wade's indefinite absence due to an ankle injury.

Heat forward Mike Miller made his season debut against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night after sitting out the Heat's first 12 games following hernia surgery.

Miller finished with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist on 6-for-6 shooting (all 3-pointers) in 15 minutes off of Miami's bench.

The Heat forward returned slightly ahead of schedule. On December 1, word broke that Miller could miss two months after the surgery.  

Local10.com reported that Miller "was the first player on the court [Tuesday] afternoon over 3 hours before tip-off."

Miller signed with the Heat prior to the 2010-2011 season, but struggled with injuries last year, averaging just 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances. A solid all-around forward when healthy, Miller is an intelligent, hard-working, floor-spacing and ball-moving threat.  

During the lockout, it was rumored that the Heat might use the amnesty clause on his contract, which runs through 2014-2015, but Miami elected to bring him back for a second season.

Miller, 31, boasts career averages of 13.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in 733 games.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Miami Heat release 'The Wait Is Over' hype video

Posted by Ben Golliver



With their Christmas Day season opener just a little more than three weeks away, the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat have released a preseason hype video to set the tone for the 2011-2012 NBA season.

The 96-second clip dubbed "The Wait Is Over" opens with a burning basketball graphic before flashing highlights of LeBron James and Chris Bosh dunking, Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller hitting jumpers, Joel Anthony blocking a shot, Udonis Haslem completing an alley-oop and a bunch of team hustle plays. The graphic ends with the words "Are you ready? Let's go Heat."

It's pretty typical "hype video" fare, although it's interesting to see that Miller, who is rumored to be waived via the amnesty clause, is included. Since he's currently under contract and it would have probably been assumed he was gone if he wasn't included in the video, it does make sense that he made the final cut. His highlight can always get edited out in the future (just like his roster presence in real life!).  

The tagline "The Wait Is Over" references the anticipation the Heat bring into the season following a devastating loss in the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, but it also seems to be a nod towards the end of the lockout. Heat owner Micky Arison was fined $500,000 by the NBA when he made comments saying that fans shouldn't blame him for the labor impasse, implying that he was ready to end it and get back to work. 

Given that Miami is the odds-on favorite to take home rings in 2012, their excitement is totally understandable. As always for the Heat since the Big 3 came together, the task is delivering substance in the wake of the monstrous hype.

Video uploaded by YouTube user thedwade3333333.

Hat tip: IAmAGM
Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Heat's Miller out 2 months after hernia surgery

Posted by Ben Gollivermike-miller

NBA practice facilities finally opened on Thursday morning, and Miami's opened with a bang.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem told reporters that Heat forward Mike Miller underwent hernia surgery during the lockout and is expected out for an extended period of time as he recovers.

"They say 8 weeks, but I'm not a doctor," Haslem said, according to ESPN.com.

A 2-month absence would keep Miller out of training camp, preseason, and roughly the first month of the NBA's regular season.

The Heat were already facing a decision on whether or not to amnesty Miller, who struggled with injuries last season and averaged just 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances. A solid all-around forward when healthy, Miller is an intelligent, hard-working floor-spacing and ball-moving threat. But he plays the wing, where Miami is fully loaded, and is set to $5.4 millon this year with a contract that runs through 2014-2015.

The best arguments for keeping Miller would be that he is primed for a bounce-back year from near career-lows in every category and that the thin Heat need his veteran reliability on a roster that obviously lacks depth after the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But if he can't get on the court for nearly half of the abbreviated 2011-2012 season, those arguments go straight out the window. An ultra-patient argument could be made that the Heat don't need him until the postseason anyway, but the injury list is so long at this point it gets harder and harder to justify waiting.

For billionaire Micky Arison, swallowing the money still left on Miller's contract isn't that bitter of a pill, especially because Miami can re-allocate those cap dollars to a Mid-Level Exception target like free agent Samuel Dalembert, among others. The Heat don't have any other terrible contracts for whom they would want to save the amnesty clause for later, so the table is set for a swift, clean break.

Miller, for his part, recently put his house on the market, so he's clearly prepared if the Heat do pull the plug.
Haslem on recovery time for Mike Miller's hernia surgery.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Heat to waive Mike Miller with amnesty clause?

Posted by Ben Gollivermike-miller

Will it be one-and-done for Miami Heat forward Mike Miller?

Miller represented the final piece of the Heat's free agent puzzle bonanza during the summer of 2010, hopping aboard after guard Dwyane Wade re-signed and forwards LeBron James and Chris Both took their talents to South Beach.

Targeted as a floor-spacing shooter and all-around team guy, Miller dealt with injuries throughout the 2010-2011 season and never had the impact his 5-year, $30 million contract demanded.

This week, the Sun-Sentinel reports that Miller has put his Miami mansion on the market, listing it for $9 million, and is openly discussing the possibility that he might be waived by the Heat using the amnesty clause that is expected to be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement.
The veteran forward said Wednesday he is just taking stock of the current situation in both his career and the NBA. And that means taking stock of his 9,968-square-foot estate with the $180,000 in annual property taxes.

"It's a couple of things," Miller said. "Just preparing myself; never know what can happen."

"If anything happens with the amnesty, this is just going to be a business decision and I can respect that," he said. "Teams will only get one opportunity to use it. I can respect that part of it."
The Heat face two questions with regard to Miller and the amnesty clause. Do they amnesty him? And, if so, when? Remember, the current amnesty clause proposal would let a team use it at any apoint during the next two seasons and potentially for the duration of any current contracts. In other words, the decision wouldn't need to be made immediately.

Besides Wade, James and Bosh, the Heat have just three players under contract that can meaningfully contribute: Miller, forward Udonis Haslem and center Joel Anthony. Point guard Mario Chalmers is a restricted free agent and could return to the team as well. The Heat will also have a mid-level exception to play with, and they figure to use that to beef up their frontcourt depth. So, at most, that's a core of eight players (including the MLE target) plus a whole lot of youngsters and minimum salary players to fill out the roster. The Heat are stretched thin with Miller; without him, they would be stretched really thin.

While Miller didn't live up to his contract last year, finances alone aren't the major concern in any amnesty decision, as using it would require Heat owner Micky Arison to pay Miller the balance of his salary and settle for zero on-court production in return. Waiving Miller now would be all about reducing the payroll to free up salary cap flexibility, but it's not totally clear yet how helpful shedding his salary will be. If the Heat do retain Chalmers and use their mid-level exception, they will be fairly close to the luxury tax line, and probably above it, even if they waive Miller. They'll be paying out big dollars with or without him, an eventuality that Arison seems to have no problem with. 

There is talk, however, that the value of a mid-level exception would be significantly smaller for luxury tax paying teams than for non tax-payers. If this winds up being true, keeping Miller and re-signing Chalmers could put Miami in the luxury tax and, theoretically, could limit their potential targets in free agency by reducing the total dollar amount Miami is able to offer with their mid-level. In other words, if Miller is cast out immediately it's likely to happen so that Miami can bring in a full mid-level free agent who can play meaningful minutes and wouldn't settle for the smaller mid-level available to luxury tax payers. (Note: The specific mechanics for what would be available to Miami, and when, will not be set in stone until a new CBA is reached.)

Let's not lose sight of the fact that it's a virtual guarantee that Miller has a better season in 2011-2012 than he did in 2010-2011. He played a career-low in games last year and averaged career-lows in minutes, points and assists. He's still just 31; he's primed for a bounceback campaign in one form or another. Even if he underperforms his past peak production, he's only on the books for $5.4 million, so it will be very difficult for him to be outrageously overpaid unless he can't physically take the court. On paper, he's still the same versatile, intelligent perimeter threat that can serve as an outlet for Wade and James. If Miller goes, Miami would need to address the hole he leaves and they will need to pay to do so.

An attractive option, then, would be to simply punt on the Miller decision. While Miller is on the books officially for $24 million over four more years, Miami essentially has a team option for $5.4 million thanks to the amnesty clause. Waiting until next season to execise the amnesty would give Miami another year to show why he was a top Heat target in 2010 and to see if the developed chemistry between the Big 3 and their supporting pieces that was often on display during playoff series victories over the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls can be realized in the sequel season. If injury does strike again, Miami could always amnesty Miller prior to the 2012-2013 season and go mid-level exception hunting at that time. 

The least risky play for Miami, then, is to give Miller a swan song, bring back Chalmers (unless his price is really stepp), and get the best big man they can find with the mid-level, regardless of whether they are able to use a normal mid-level or a reduced luxury tax payer mid-level. If the season does wind up starting sooner rather than later, maintaining continuity from last season and keeping their options open going forward would seem to be the prudent play during a crunched free agency period and a shortened season.

Miller is smart to list his house for sale so that he has a jumpstart if things go south for him in South Beach. But there's still a decent chance he's back for redemption with the Heat whenever the lockout ends.
Posted on: July 14, 2011 11:15 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 11:32 pm
 

Mike Miller has shoulder surgery

Posted by Matt Moore

Mike Miller was kind of in pieces in the Finals. He didn't complain, and he rebuffed all questions about potential injuries. But ask anyone who had been around the team for more than a week and they would tell you the guy was basically stuck together with duct tape. Both thumbs, leg injuries, a sore back and a shoulder that was injured in Game 1. He shot, we winced. 

Turns out it's been quite the process to put him back together again. Miller spoke to his hometown paper in Mitchell, S.D., and revealed he's had two surgeries since the Finals, not just one. After having thumb surgery, which was expected, he also had the shoulder worked on:
Since the conclusion of the playoffs, Miller said he’s received surgery to his shoulder and his thumb.

“I’ve been trying to glue myself back together, kind of like the humpty-dumpty man right now,” Miller said. “I’ve been out since the season’s been over. It’s a little bit frustrating, but hopefully it will give the rest of my body a chance to heal up and take a break.”
via Mitchell native Mike Miller reflects on Heat's season | The Daily Republic | Mitchell, South Dakota.

Miller is one player who could benefit from the lockout. He hasn't been fully healthy in years and could use the extra time to get his body right. The Heat need him as a pure shooter, and that's hard to do when your thumb and arm are both jacked up. Miller shot 40 percent from the field this year, down 10 percentage points (!) from 2010. This on a team that consistently was in need of better offensive weaponry. He shot 30 percent in the playoffs from deep. A sharpshooter, shooting 30 percent from deep.

Not everything went wrong for the Heat in the Finals. 

But it was close. 

(HT: South Florida Sun-Sentinel)



Category: NBA
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Heat partied with Mavericks after Game 6?

Posted by Matt Moore

See, when people question their will to win? This is what they're talking about.

Reports surfaced Monday on 790 The Ticket in Miami that some Heat players joined the Mavericks on Sunday night while the new NBA champs partied on South Beach (photos!) after their Game 6 win. One trusted member of Mavs media confirmed that Erick Dampier was one of the Miami members in attendance, along with unnamed others. 

Just so we're clear on this. The Mavs trash-talked you all series long, dashed your title hopes, put even more criticism on your squad, celebrated on your floor and then in your city, and you go party with them? Nice chemistry guys. A few assorted thoughts:

  • The Big Three reportedly were not part of the celebration, but would it surprise you in the slightest if they were? Would that shock you in any way? If LeBron James had gone down there to party with JET, it would have been just more delight for the millions of people that took abject glee in the fall of the Heat and James in particular. It's a good thing they didn't head down there as far as we knew.
  • On the flip side of this, I tried explaining to people how much of this entire process is theatrics. Do the Mavs and Heat organizations like each other? No. Do Dirk and Wade get along? Probably not. But it's not personal, and all of these players consider themselves part of a brotherhood of players. Once the buzzer sounds, most of them are friends with one another. We like to think of these as blood rivalries like the one that existed with the Celtics and Lakers of the 80's but things aren't like that. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant are buds, though they try and keep that one quiet for PR purposes. That said, KG would never celebrate with the team that defeated him.
  • How does one make that decision? "Well, I just lost the NBA Finals. What can I do? I guess I'll go out, since I live in Miami. Hmm. Maybe I should go drink and dance with the guys that just made me look like a group of slugs offensively and shut us down on our own floor. That sounds fun! Surely no one will see me!"
  • There likely won't be repercussions from this for Maimi, but there should be. Players that partake in that kind of behavior shouldn't be allowed to return to the team. Dampier is old enough to where he probably doesn't care, and after so many years in Dallas, you can understand him wanting to see his guys celebrate. But at the same time, one of the Heat's biggest issues this year was chemistry, and having guys who aren't fully committed to the organization is part of that. 
  • It's an insult to Chris Bosh, who was emotionally wrecked after the loss. Say what you want about Bosh, he played his face off in the postseason and wanted to win badly. He cared. 


(HT: BDL via PBT)
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Rick Carlisle and strategic believing

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- The word "believe" is one that pretty much passes through me these days. I mean, it couldn't get more cliche, could it? It's said so often in sports, it has the same impact as "points" or "effort." It's nothing more than an overused phrase that players and coaches use to deflect the conversation into the most bland terms. It doesn't actually mean anything. 

Right?

All series long, all  playoffs long, all season long,  Carlisle has preached the word "believe." When asked about their resiliency in coming back from fourth-quarter deficits time and time again, Carlisle would talk about how the team believed. When facing a 2-1 deficit going into Game 4 against the Heat, Carlisle said they needed to believe in themselves. And each time I rolled my eyes. They don't actually think this. It's about strategic adjustments, and about focus.

Right?

But then there's Shawn Marion, screaming his face off in a tiny visitor's locker room that reeks of sweat and stale champagne, running his mouth constantly but pausing to talk about Carlisle.

"Coach just told us to keep believing in ourselves," Marion said, "and that's what we did. We believed in this team." 

Then there's Ian Mahinmi, basking in the glow of finally contributing in a meaningful way on his way to a championship, just two years after he left the NBA D-League. I asked him what it was that gave Carlisle the ability to get all these role players, to get every single player to be ready to go full bore and make the right plays at a moment's notice. 

"He just kept telling us to believe in ourselves. Going into a game like this, there's so much pressure, you don't want to be the one to make a mistake, and he just kept telling me how much he believed in what I could do."

The tenth guy on the roster, and he's ready to go because Carlisle had him believing it. Carlisle was asked by a bombastic reporter to talk himself up after Game 4 and simply laughed the question off. He refused to take any credit, even after it was his strategic decisions that helped the Mavericks shut down the best talent in the league, even after it was his motivational work that got a team of players who are quite honestly old to be the first to the ball every time. Carlisle still wouldn't take his bow. 

Carlisle in his post-game comments credited "the collective toughness" of his team, Dirk Nowitkzi, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal, ownership, everyone but himself.  The man had just finished off one of the best postseasons of any coach since the turn of the century, and done it with an aging roster and using players like a 5-10 (if that) former D-League player and a throwaway from the Caron Butler trade (oh, yeah, and Butler was injured). And he still wouldn't take credit. 

Don't be mistaken, Carlisle's tactical adjustments were the key to this series. Starting J.J. Barea and providing that initial burst of speed allowing Stevenson to guard James late as a backup to Marion and putting together a pick and roll defense strategy against one of the best combinations of talent this league has ever seen, those are the strategic elements that brought the Mavs the title. They were always going to get an amazing performance from Dirk Nowitzki

There was a possession in the second quarter of Game 6. After Tyson Chandler beat his man once again to the offensive rebound and the possession reset, Jason Kidd went around a wing pick, and when the double came, immediately slung the ball to J.J. Barea. For the Heat, or most teams, really, this is either a contested three from Barea, a dribble probe, or some other individual effort with the clock winding down. Barea instantly slung a sidearm pass to a cutting Shawn Marion who went right to the basket, his defender back screened by Chandler. It was cohesive, it was flawless, it was the type of play you need veterans for. But more importantly, that play requires a coach to drill consistency and an understanding of teammates in. There was no improvisation, it was a practiced set that worked to perfection, performed by players that understand the sacrifice and devotion to the team concept that can lead to real success.

After the play, Carlisle merely nodded his head, acknowledging the good work, then turned his attention to the defensive end.

After so many years of good work in Indiana and Detroit, it finally came home for Carlisle Sunday night. He adds his second ring, his first as a coach, and even in the presser, he didn't bask in the warm glow of his greatness like so many coaches at the top of the Western Conference outside of Texas would. He just credited his players and sat back amazed at what this incredible group of players had accomplished, in his mind, for him. Hopefully somewhere he knows just how much of a hand he had in it. There's talk today of the Mavericks' future with aging players and what tomorrow brings. But with Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks will always know what they're getting, what they got this year that rewarded them with a championship: a winning coach that understands the way the game should be played.  

And a guy who made believers out of everyone.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com