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Miller rooting for Heat from sidelines

Mike Miller may not be playing with the Miami Heat, but he's still on their side.

The Mitchell native and free agent this offseason told Bleacher Report Thursday that he thinks the Heat's chances of three-peating are doable.

"I'll definitely watch them," said Miller, 34, who was amnestied from the Heat in 2013 after winning two championships with Miami. "The list of teams that have three-peated is so small. I would love to see them do it.

"I've got Miami. I really do."

The Heat fell in Game 1 Thursday in a contest where LeBron James was carried off the floor after cramping. Miami looks to even the series at 7 p.m. Sunday in San Antonio, Texas.

Miller, who played this season with the Memphis Grizzlies, may be missing playing in another NBA Finals but his leadership void Miami coach Erik Spoelstra is aware of.

"People don't understand how instrumental Mike Miller was to our team," Spoelstra said. "I mean, Mike, everything that he went through, both injuries and being in and out of the lineups, and not one day did he ever come to work with an 'I don't want to be here' attitude.

"We all respected that. And for a guy like that who's done so much in his career, to come in with that mindset every day, we all saw that."

Miller said he plans on going to Game 6 in Miami if the series goes that far. He said he wants to watch the game with his kids from the crowd in the AmericanAirlines Arena.

"Even though I'll get asked this question again: 'Why aren't you playing for the Heat anymore, Dad?' " Miller said. "I had to tell them it was trash day, it was Tuesday. They had to take out the trash."

After being amnestied by the Heat, the Memphis Grizzlies picked up the three-point specialist, signing him to a one-year $1,399,507 contract. The one-year deal leaves Miller a free agent again this offseason.

Miller can't return to South Beach, Fla., in 2014 because there were two years remaining on his contract when the Heat let him go.

This season, Miller helped the Grizzlies to the playoffs where they fell to Oklahoma City in seven games in the first round. In the postseason, Miller averaged 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and about 25 minutes per game, while shooting .483 from behind the arc. Miller matched his season-high 21 points in Game 5 against the Thunder, leading the Grizzlies to a 3-2 advantage in the series.

In the regular season, Miller averaged 7.1 points per game and appeared in all 82 games. Miller recorded a .459 three-point percentage last season, ranking third in the NBA, and a .481 field-goal percentage.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.