Miller seeing more time, finding ways to help Nuggets
MINNEAPOLIS—After only appearing in six of the Denver Nuggets' first 12 games the season, Mike Miller is starting to see the court more in December.
After Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the former Mitchell Kernel had appeared in 11 consecutive games for the Nuggets, his seventh NBA team.
Miller is averaging 12.7 minutes per game in the month of December, compared to 6.6 minutes per game in November. In the team's six games in December, Miller is averaging 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
While the 15-year NBA veteran hasn't played more than 20 minutes this season, he's found ways to help contribute off the court.
According to story published by The Denver Post on Dec. 8, Miller was asked by Denver head coach Michael Malone to help work with rookie Emmanuel Mudiay's 3-point shooting.
Mudiay was the Nuggets' top pick in 2015 and the No. 7 overall pick in last year's draft. Mudiay has started in 23 games for Denver this season and is averaging 10.7 points per game, but is shooting 24 percent on 3-pointers (18-of-73).
"I went up to Mike and said, 'I think it would be invaluable if you could spend some time working with Emmanuel, just on the basic fundamentals of his shot,' " Malone said told the newspaper. "It's not a practice makes perfect; it's perfect practice makes perfect. So Mike is teaching him some of the finer points of his shooting technique and then carrying that over and getting the proper reps."
Miller is 19th on the career 3-point percentage list (40.7) and 18th in career 3-pointers made (1,574). For his career, the former NBA rookie of the year is shooting 41 percent from three-point territory — 10th best among active players.
"He's looking at Mike Miller, and, I think, Mike Miller's words and his teaching will help Emmanuel," Malone said. "So I think it's great to see that and is something I think we'll see a lot more of going forward."
Mudiay has scored in double-figures 13 times this season for the Nuggets and started the season hitting nine of his first 20 shots from the 3-point line (45 percent). Since then, the 19-year-old rookie has made just 9-of-50 (18 percent) shots from behind the arc.
"Him being a shooter, it's definitely going to be helpful," Mudiay, speaking of Miller, told The Denver Post.
Miller and the Nuggets (10-14) play the Utah Jazz on Friday in Salt Lake City, Utah.