Over the next 15 days, the Denver Stiffs staff will be previewing the 2016-17 Denver Nuggets. The team enters Michael Malone’s second season with the Nuggets with a mix of new and familiar faces. With a roster mixed with young talent like Jamal Murray and more experienced veterans like Wilson Chandler, the Nuggets are looking to improve on their 33-49 record from last season.
Mike Miller is a pro’s pro. The 2001 Rookie of the Year and the 2006 Sixth Man of the Year is 20th all-time in career 3-pointers made, in between Steph Curry and LeBron James in active players. He’s equally comfortable lounging in a luxury suite at the NBA Finals with legends and staying after practice late to work on shooting drills with the newest players on the team.
Miller attempted 10 field goals last season that weren’t 3-pointers, which helps show how defined his role as a 3-point shooting specialist is on the team. He’s the backup to the backup at small forward, but he’s the primary inbounder at the end of games when Michael Malone needs someone who he can trust completely to successfully get the ball to a teammate in a crucial moment. He’ll occasionally play with the reserves in the second quarter, but as he enters his 16th season in the league, I’m sure he’s fine with not having to be out there for 15-20 minutes a night.
Experience. Miller is the player the young members of the team can turn to for advice on how to win. Miller has his championship rings and individual accolades, and has an ability to connect with players from all different backgrounds. He’s also an excellent inbounder - Nuggets fans should cringe when asked to think of someone that isn’t great at that being asked to execute what is a much more difficult play than most would expect.
He’s 10th among active players in 3-pointers made for his career. That dude can shoot the basketball. Oh, and he’s friends with one of the greatest basketball players ever who can’t stop hanging out with the Nuggets ownership.
With age comes wisdom, but for Miller, that wisdom has come at the expense of his back. Miller has dealt with back injuries that have limited his playing ability late in his career. He’s not going to be able to be relied on for much production, but that’s not the purpose he’s on the team. It’s like complaining that your microwave doesn’t have an option to blend smoothies.
Projected 2016-17 Season Stats
So many successful inbounds.
Miller signed a two-year contract with the Nuggets in the 2016 offseason. The second year is non-guaranteed.