It's time to take a look back
on the 2008-2009 season, and assess how each player performed. More
importantly, though, I want to pay close attention to how the pieces on
this young team progressed. It's Andre Miller's turn today. Stats,
trends, highlights and lowlights after the jump.
I'm actually going to go with a losing effort. On December 20th against Indy
, Miller attempted on 12 field goals, hitting 5 of them for 14 points. He also grabbed 10 boards, dished out 12 dimes, grabbed one steal and didn't turn the ball over once. That's the optimal Andre Miller game, and it's the type of effort I'll always remember him for.
Let's go all the way back to November for the worst. Miller came out sluggish (probably due to a Summer of rest) and just looked horrible in a game in Orlando
. In 34 minutes he attempted 24 shots (hitting only 7) and finished with only 2 assists. Any time your PG has 12 times as many FGA as assists, you're in trouble.
Andre Miller's defense is very, very poor, especially his on-the-ball defense, which is a huge issue for a point guard. We can get that statement out of the way, there's no need to harp on it. As the season wore on, his defense grew worse as his mobility was limited due to injuries. Accept that as a given and now let's evaluate the rest of his game.
Simply put, Andre Miller has been amazing for this team. They aren't in the playoffs the past two seasons without him. I don't think Andre Iguodala shows this kind of growth if Miller isn't there to take some of the burden off him. He's played probably the best ball of his career as a 31 and 32 year-old point guard, in a league that's being dominated by young, explosive points. He had an uncanny feel for when the team needed a hoop. He was the team's best option in the post. He used guile and sneaky athleticism to torch defenders on nearly a nightly basis and he knew when his offense wasn't needed. Here's an interesting stat. When Miller attempted fewer than 8 shots, the Sixers were 8-0. When he had 10 or more assists, they were 7-3. When he went to the line more than 10 times they were 8-2.
Miller came up big in the biggest games, including the playoffs. He was the consummate professional (during the season) and it's going to be a shame to part ways with him. It's been a pleasure watching him run the point for this team for the past two-and-a-half seasons. I do believe it's probably time for the team to move forward without him, hopefully Miller will leave the Sixers with a final gift in the form of a sign-and-trade.