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Mike Miller, then playing for the Timberwolves, drives against a Golden State opponent during a game at the Target Center in January 2009. Miller, who recently signed with the Miami Heat, says playing with the Heat -- and superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- puts him in a position to win and be successful in the postseason. (Republic file photo)

Signing with Heat put Miller in position to win

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Signing with Heat put Miller in position to win
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Mike Miller knows that, even though he just signed to play on a team with a newly-acquired superstar trio, nothing -- especially a playoff win, or an NBA championship -- is ever a sure thing.

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That's not what matters, though.

What matters is that by signing with the Miami Heat, Miller, a Mitchell native, has put himself in position to get to the playoffs and, perhaps, pick up his first postseason victory in nine years.

"LeBron (James), Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade -- it puts us in the best spot to win," Miller told The Daily Republic Monday evening in a phone interview from Miami.

Miller, who entered the postseason as an unrestricted free agent after a year with the Washington Wizards, officially signed a five-year, $25 million contract Thursday. He had been in talks with the Heat for several days before officially signing.

After James made his long-awaited decision and signed with the Heat, rumors started circulating that Miller would follow, and he eventually did.

"(Having James) definitely helped, but you also have to look at everything else that's in place," he said.

"Everything else" includes Bosh and Wade, as well as Udonis Haslem, a friend and former roommate of Miller's from his college days at Florida.

With those four on board, along with Miller -- who averaged 10.9 points and 3.9 assists per game last year with the Wizards -- expectations are high for the Heat, who won the NBA championship in 2006.

According to Miller, having all those big names on one roster creates an opportunity.

"To bring all those guys to Miami and surround them with other players, it's going to be a great opportunity," he said. "We have our work cut out for us."

Miller, who was the NBA's second-best three-point shooter last season, knows he won't necessarily be a star on a roster with the league's MVP, not to mention Bosh and Wade.

He is, however, ready to hit some shots.

"(My job) will be stretching the floor, first and foremost," he said. "You want to make room for Dwyane and LeBron and Chris. I'll knock down shots, rebound and do some ball-handling duties to alleviate all the work."

Miller, who shot a career-best 48 percent from 3-point range last season, has a career average of 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

The former rookie of the year and sixth man of the year hasn't appeared in the postseason since 2006, and has never made the second round of the playoffs.

His teams, which include the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Wizards and Orlando Magic, are winless in the playoffs since 2002.

This year, he knows that could change.

"I've had some success in the league that was mostly personal, and now I have the chance to play for a championship," he said. "Nothing's guaranteed, but I put myself in a position, and I have a shot."

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