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Andre Miller: Steel Won't Rust

Brian, great thoughts! He has earned the props. Hope he lands in a good spot.

deepsixersuede on May 21 at 8:25

He and E.S. have been joined at the hip and he is like a security blanket for this team.In one way I hope we move on with a younger,quicker version, but in another I would like him to be there when we win that first playoff series,he sure has earned it.Would love to here everybody!s % chance of his return.I think it is 75% that he is back because of lack of options and possibly drafting a shooter,even though I hope they get a p.g.

I won't be upset if he stays on a short deal for a reasonable amount. I won't be upset if he leaves. Ideally, they'd get something in return via sign-and-trade, but I think the worst-case scenario is a big money deal for more than 2 years. Can't handcuff the team beyond Sammy, Willie and Reggie's deals (all expiring after 2 seasons)

Miller did play some decent defense against SG's this year. He also makes the right rotations on defense, and does not hurt you when he has to switch onto a bigger player.

Definitely, his inability to stay in front of quick PG's limits what the team can try and do on defense, but on the flip side his ability to cover bigger guards helped- so its not totally cut and dry.

Anytime he could use strength or leverage, he was good. Any time it took speed or quickness, he was toast, especially late in the year when he really couldn't close out at all. How many times did we see him 10 feet away from a shooter when the ball was rotated on the outside?

Yep. But against Orlando he had a favorable match-up and really played like a star.

I have very mixed feelings about resigning him to a short deal. I think they have to do it given the lack of other options, but he does limit what a new coach can do defensively.

john reply to tk76 on May 21 at 14:04

It seems that the NBA is moving 'towards' the quicker speedier pinot guard model - the point guard starting in orlando in the playoffs isn't their starting point guard, it's their replacement dude...can he keep up with the speedier guys who are popping up all over the place? He's going to get older and slower

I have no hopes for him landing in a good spot - I hope he lands in a spot that leads to a sign and trade that benefits the sixers. If that requires him playing for the clippers again, so be it.

Word is he'd like to play in miami (no taxes, south beach and 'wade', who wouldn't) - but the question is would miami like him to play there?

Steel may not rust, but it ages, and weakens...and miller really started to show his age this year...no more than 2 years please if that...I'm not sure i want him back at all but it's too early to tell..

Not sure I want him back. But, on the other hand, would not be upset if he comes back. He has been an amazing player and I believe not given enough credit for what he has done for the team.

If he stays, my only request is that he shoots less and passes more (unless he is hot!).

I appreciate what he's meant to this team during this post-Iverson transition. IMO, unfortunately for his Philly career, the signing of Brand sort of sealed his fate. With Dala and Thad, there is a premium for a shooter at Miller's spot. And defensively, his struggles are only going to get worse.

So, Mr. Miller, thanks for the memories, good luck and happy travels. Just don't pull a Salmons and back out of a S&T, please.

Tom Moore on May 21 at 16:48

Sixers just confirmed they met with Thibodeau today.

Good news. Any word on who's next?

Tom Moore on May 21 at 18:52

Nope. Sixers are playing it close to the vest. Interview was in Philly.

Good points. It seems weird to say, but I agree that I don't want Miller back. That being said, Andre Miller is the best embodiment of a point guard that I've ever had the opportunity to watch on a regular basis. He didn't just improve the play and basketball-IQ of his teammates, he improved the basketball IQ of the fans. I wish him the best.

John reply to noah on May 21 at 20:45

"He improved the basketball IQ of the fans"?

Seriously - what does that even mean.

And you must never have seen John Stockton ever play a game?

Or any of the NBA in the 80s?

Jay Real reply to John on May 22 at 11:40

Yo, get off y'all toilet, John John, and let da kid make a comment. It no sweat off y'all back, so why ya gotta hate da playa??? Man up for once, yo! Stop bein' such a back alley biotch.

John reply to Jay Real on May 22 at 13:33

Being young doesn't excuse ignorance and silliness...and it's the responsibility of those of us older to educate the young in their ignorance.

For instance, might I suggest you learn the English language?

Hey guys, busy day at work so I didn't get a chance to write until now. I have a somewhat contrarian view of Miller this year, which is to say that he was something of a mixed blessing on both offense and defense.

Defensively, everyone agrees that he was very poor on the ball, especially on the perimeter, and his getting beaten by his man was often the start of the rotating that so often got the Sixers in trouble. The reality is that in today's NBA, no one can stop the best PG's from penetrating all the time, so it's a matter of relative percentage of stops, but even by relative measures, Miller was poor at stopping dribble penetration. On the other hand, Miller contributed defensively in two ways: he played the best post defense of any of the guards (and we all know that the Sixers' defensive scheme often winds up with guards playing post defense) and he contributed on the defensive boards (best defensive rebounder among the Sixer guards).

On offense, he was a good post player (for a guard), a relatively consistent jump-shooter from 12-16 feet, and a good passer to those who got open on lobs and backdoor cuts. However, when I think of the best pure point guards in the NBA, defined as those who are the best at making the game easier for the other 4 players on the court, Miller is definitely a cut below. Players I would term elite point guards include CPaul, Deron Williams, Calderon, Nash, Rondo, and Kidd. All of those players are constantly probing the defense and setting up their teammates for easy shots.

Miller didn't always do that in either the halfcourt or the fastbreak. He would certainly make the right pass to someone who was already open (e.g., if he was in the backcourt and saw someone streaking ahead, or if he saw someone open for the aforementioned lobs/backdoor cuts). But you could probably count on one hand the number of times he penetrated and kicked for a dunk or an easy bucket; in the halfcourt, when he penetrates, it's to set up his own shot. Drive and kick is simply not a part of Miller's game. On the break, if he crossed halfcourt with the ball, 9 times out of 10 he was taking it all the way. Now he scored/drew fouls often this way, but with two of the best finishers in the NBA on the wing (Thad, Iguodala), I often found myself wishing he had passed more.

To give an example of the type of play Miller never made, I remember a play when the Sixers were playing in OT in Portland where Willie Green took the ball hard to the basket, drew his defender, and passed to Iguodala on the baseline when his (Green's) path was blocked. Iguodala was probably 10 feet away from the basket when he got the ball, but it was one or two quick steps and a dunk (a big basket at the time). If it had been Miller on that play, he would have shot the ball, and he might have come away with 2 points 80% of the time, but that percentage is still lower than the 99.9% for an Iguodala dunk.

Looking back over the 2.5 years that Miller has been in Philly, it was certainly a step in the right direction as far as having him at the point instead of Iverson. However, I'm of the opinion that the team has gone about as far as it can go on offense with Miller at the point. At least part of the problem with the lack of ball movement in the Sixer offense traces back to Miller himself. Now, elite point guards don't grow on trees, and if it's a choice between Miller and Lou, I'd still certainly prefer Miller, but I think people would be surprised how little Miller is missed if the team somehow picked up a "pure" point guard ...

p.s. My best Miller game would have been the game before Brand got hurt, 3-4 for 8 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 turnovers - an easy win against the Wizards. Part of the 8-0 when he attempted fewer than 8 shots.

I'm not sure you can really blame Miller for not being a drive and kick point when he had no one on this team to kick to. Agreed on the finishing on the break point. Also agreed on the he's taken this team as far as he can point.

With the pieces the Sixers have, I think bringing Miller back is basically a treading water move. Until we get a point who can shoot, or Thad magically becomes a 40% three-point shooter, this offense won't improve much at all.

Statman reply to Brian on May 22 at 10:15

I'm not sure you can really blame Miller for not being a drive and kick point when he had no one on this team to kick to.

While I agree with this to a point, since the Sixers are the worst jumpshooting team in the league, I don't give Miller a pass (no pun intended) for not looking to set up others off penetration. For example, Tyson Chandler probably has just as limited an offensive game as Dalembert, but he was a force last year (when healthy) because of Paul's penetrations that led to dunks. Or back a few years when Nash and Marion were in their primes, Marion got an assortment of floaters and short jumpers off Nash penetrations that Thad and Iguodala would thrive on.

If you think about it, the Sixers probably got fewer open shots in the halfcourt than any other team in the league. Part of it was a lack of post presence (combined with poor passing out of the post) and part was the isolation-heavy nature of the offense, but the lack of a drive-and-dish point guard was a significant part as well.

Sean reply to Statman on May 22 at 11:26

Yeah, I agree with that. It is one of the reasons that I am hoping we can move on from Miller and find a suitable replacement(Curry or Maynor or Calathes or Lawson? CJ Watson in free agency? A focused, disciplined Lou?). That Aaron Brooks effect could be nice for the offense.

Sean reply to Brian on May 22 at 11:24

Hey Brian, I was in a debate with a poster on RealGM and actually discovered an interesting stat about Thad. Did you know he shot 40% from three this year at home? I did not know that. It never really seemed like it. So, all he needs to do is shoot as well on the road as he does at home and the Sixers would be in good shape

bebopdeluxe on May 21 at 23:05

As a partial Sixers season-ticket holder, I thank Andre Miller for everything he has done in his 2 1/2 seasons as a Sixer.

I also never want to see him in a Sixers uniform again.

Two of the biggest issues that this team has is perimeter defense and shooting from distance, and Miller is/was a big contributor to these problems. Now - if Thibodeau is hired, perhaps his defensive principles will improve our schemes on the perimeter, but I don't think that any schemes will improve the chance that Miller will be able to improve stopping dribble penetration.

And forget the shooting.

If we are going to commit to Iggy at the 2, Thad at the 3 and EB at the 4, Andre Miller can not come back and be the PG of the Sixers. We need a PG who can play some D and shoot from distance...and that ain't Miller.

(It IS Kirk Hinrich...but I have discussed that to death)

The FA pool is pretty bleak in that area as well...while none of the PG's in the draft have both of those skills either, Curry is the best shooter, and perhaps Thibodeau can devise a defensive philosophy for this team that would allow Curry to do enough on defense to get by. The only other guy that interests me is Holliday...he actually has the size and athleticism to be a pretty good defender, but he will have to work on his outside shot.

The rest of the crew is "Maynor and the Smurfs"...I guess I like Maynor the best because of his size...and he seems like he might have the cojones to be sucessful at this level. I don't care how good Lawson is - I'm not interested in a sub-6-foot PG (which rules out Mills and Flynn as well).

Here's hoping we can do better than Steve Blake in a S&T (yuck).

I am interested in CJ Watson from GS. Shot 40% from deep. Can penetrate. Hit Utah for 38 and 9 earlier this year off the bench. Plays okay defense, but could improve(especially under a guy like Thibodeau). And is a 25 y/o free agent. Might be available cheap, especially if GS is as interested in Jennings or Evans as I've heard, with them still needing time for Ellis, Maggette and Jackson in the back court.

deepsixersuede on May 22 at 0:37

I don!t think Portland would give us Blake, he is the perfect backup for Miller. I think the best we get is Rodriguez and Webster, and I would probably say thanks but no thanks. I scoured the possible teams and nothing earthshattering is available.We have to assume the value in contracts will have to be between the m.l.e. and his 10 mill. salary of this year and teams, I don!t believe, will give up core pieces [6 through 8 guys] for him.Do we take back a bad salary to get a young player?,that could be risky.

No way in hell we take back a bad contract unless we're getting a legit starter in the deal. Better off just letting him walk than ruining cap flexibility.

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