Miller a threat in starting lineup
Mike Miller has had some ups and downs in December. After missing seven straight games after suffering a concussion on Dec. 4 against the New York Knicks, the Cleveland forward and former Mitchell Kernel came back with a vengence. Miller, 34, ent...
Mike Miller has had some ups and downs in December.
After missing seven straight games after suffering a concussion on Dec. 4 against the New York Knicks, the Cleveland forward and former Mitchell Kernel came back with a vengence.
Miller, 34, entered back into Cleveland's rotation on Friday, when he got his first start of the season. The forward also started against Memphis on Sunday and Minnesota on Tuesday for the Cavaliers, who have won 12 of the last 15 games.
Cleveland head coach David Blatt made the starting change last week, which put Miller next to LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao for tipoff.
"We've been getting a great contribution from Shawn (Marion) when he was starting, but we have had some issues coming off the bench and we're looking for a way to fortify that," Blatt told The Associated Press. "You're always trying to figure out a way you can improve in different areas of the game and that might be one of them.
"Sometimes you just want to shake things up a little bit."
Miller took advantage of his first start against the Nets. He scored 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting from behind the arc. It was the first time in over a year that an NBA player had made at least seven 3-pointers while shooting that high of a percentage. The last player to do so was Kevin Love on Dec. 13, 2013, when he went 8-of-9 against the San Antonio Spurs.
Miller's 21-point performance surpassed his season point total in one night. Prior to Friday night, Miller, who declined interview requests from The Daily Republic, had scored 19 points all season.
Since then, Miller has made two other starts for the Cavaliers. He was held scoreless in both contests on Sunday and Tuesday, but Miller's presence on the floor did the damage, not the amount of points.
"One thing I learned in Miami is the perception of a shooter is almost more important than actually making the shots," Miller told Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. "You're going to get games where you get two, or three shots up. It doesn't matter if you make them; it's how they guard you. Hopefully, I've done enough to (convince) people that I'm a shooter and it makes their jobs easier. That's what I'm out there for."
In Miller's first three starts, Cleveland is 3-0.
The Fifth Annual Mike Miller Classic begins Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell and continues through Monday. Monday’s games will be played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.