Mitchell native Mike Miller battling injuries through playoff run
Health doesn't seem to be Mike Miller's top priority right now.
The Mitchell native and Miami Heat guard/forward has been battling several injuries throughout this year's playoff run toward an NBA championship.
When he's not on the court, he can usually been seen lying alongside the Heat's bench, resting his body in hopes he gathers enough strength to land a few more minutes of action.
Ira Winderman covers the Heat for the Miami Sun Sentinel newspaper, and he said seeing Miller in pain has become normal this year.
"He has so many nagging things going on, and clearly there are some things at play that we don't even know about," Winderman said Tuesday in a phone interview with The Daily Republic.
Before the season, Miller underwent surgeries for a sports hernia and to correct a shoulder ailment. Winderman said he believes Miller is also having issues with his ankle, back and knees. Last year, Miller had problems with his thumb, forcing him to miss time during the regular season.
Miller and the Heat took the court in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night, but in the 15 prior playoff games, Miller averaged about 19.5 minutes, 5.7 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Winderman said despite Miller having several physical issues at the moment, the former NBA Rookie of the Year won't complain about it.
"He will not talk or joke about his injuries," Winderman said. "It's just a no-excuse kind of thing. If you watch him on the court, there's not a moment where he's not grimacing.
"If you talk to his teammates they'll all tell you the same thing. They say, 'You don't know the half of it. You have no idea what this guy goes through just to get himself on the court.' "
On Tuesday, Winderman and the Sun Sentinel reported Miller is auctioning off his oceanfront mansion on June 30 to the highest bidder.
Miller listed the six-bedroom, 9,000-square foot home for $9 million earlier this year. According to Winderman's report, no buyer thought Miller was serious about selling. The three-story home has a swim-up bar, a 100-foot marble dock and access to a private beach. It also has two gourmet kitchens, a cigar and wine room, a custom aquarium and a marble fireplace.
Winderman believes there's a direct correlation between why Miller is playing through all of his injuries and the home's auction date. Miller's time in Miami could be running short, and this year could be his last chance at winning an NBA title, Winderman said. Miller is owed $5.4 million next year and is signed through the 2013-14 season with a player option the next season.
The Heat could cut Miller before the start of next season, Winderman said.
"The fact that he's going to be auctioning off his house on June 30 really gives an indication of what he thinks," Winderman said. "It's a fabulous property."
Miller scored his postseason-high 12 points in the Heat's Game 6 win over Indiana on May 24. He scored 8, 7 and 11 points in the first three games against the Celtics, but was held to two first-half points Sunday and didn't see any action in the second half because of his injuries.
"They love his energy out there and love his rebounding," Winderman said. "He just hasn't been able to make it back to the definitive sixth-man role they want him to."