In a season that has seen multiple concussions and thumb injuries to both hands, Mike Miller has had a season to forget. It was not supposed to be this way. Things were supposed to come easy for the former rookie of the year.
Instead, Miller has struggled to find consistency in any shape or form this year. Yes, injuries are the primary reason for his struggles. But imagine what this year has done to Miller’s psyche. He is averaging career lows in every single statistical category, most notably 3 point shooting. A career 40% three-point shooter, Miller has stumbled to a mere 36% this year.
Before the season it seemed like the perfect move. How could he not have a career season playing alongside Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James?
Then Miller got his hand stuck in LeBron’s jersey during a scrimmage resulting in a right thumb injury requiring surgery. When Miller was finally activated about halfway through the season, he suffered a concussion while going hard after a rebound. Things were already terrible for the veteran out of the University of Florida, but they continued to get worse.
Miller would injure the thumb on his left hand, and all indications are that it will require surgery in the off-season. After injuring the thumb in a regular season game, Miller had his hand slammed into the rim by teammate Joel Anthony who was attempting a put back on an offensive rebound. This really has not been the best of years for Miller.
Despite all of his issues, Coach Spoelstra said they are evaluating Miller on a day-to-day basis and he will be questionable for game 1 against the Boston Celtics. It begs the question, how effective can Mike Miller actually be in this series?
Conventional wisdom will lead to the belief that he cannot help the Heat. I disagree. Miller is much more than a scorer. He has shown the ability to play strong team defense, and is never afraid to crash the boards for a rebound. It is almost to a fault because it contributes to his concussions.
Nonetheless, Miami in Miller’s absence are missing their most versatile bench player. If he can somehow get healthy, he can help Miami advance deeper into the playoffs with his ability to rebound and handle the ball. It also allows Miami to play without a point guard. Providing the opportunity to put Wade on Rajon Rondo. It is no secret that Mike Bibby is incapable of defending a premier point guard at this stage of his career.