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Miller to serve in mentor role for Nuggets

DENVER--Mitchell native Mike Miller's primary role this season will be to mentor the young players for the Denver Nuggets. The 36-year-old Miller enters his 18th season in the NBA and his second with the Nuggets, who features young players like E...

DENVER-Mitchell native Mike Miller's primary role this season will be to mentor the young players for the Denver Nuggets.

The 36-year-old Miller enters his 18th season in the NBA and his second with the Nuggets, who features young players like Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic and rookie sharpshooter Jamal Murray. Ex-South Dakota State University point guard Nate Wolters is also trying to secure a roster spot for the Nuggets.

Miller, who signed a two-year deal in July, will serve as a mentor for the young Nuggets this season.

''Being a dinosaur in this league, and seeing everything that I have, I've been a part of really talented teams that have won 23 games. I've been a part of talented teams that have won championships,'' Miller told the Associated Press. ''What's the difference? To me, it's the culture and having that understanding in the locker room where you can hold guys accountable. Those are things you have to start developing.''

Still, the Nuggets are a team without an alpha player - a LeBron James or Steph Curry type who can take over in big moments.

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The way general manager Tim Connelly sees it, maybe that top-notch player is already on the roster, and just needs some time to mature. Possibly even Mudiay, the seventh overall pick in 2015.

Miller's task is to help Mudiay and Co. elevate their games - and think big.

''Our expectations and our goals have got to be playoffs,'' Miller said. ''I wouldn't say that if I didn't think it was realistic, because nothing good comes out of making unrealistic goals, especially for a young team.''

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