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Welcome to DC, Andre Miller

February 20, 2014

The Wizards announced that they have acquired point guard Andre Miller and sent Jan Vesely to Denver, and Eric Maynor and a second round pick to Philly. Miller comes to Washington from Denver and he will presumably slide immediately into the backup point guard role.  He'll be another veteran presence on a young team, having 14 years of NBA experience under his belt.  He also has some familiarity with this Wizards' roster, having played with Nene and Harrington in Denver.  Randy Wittman actually coached Miller at the beginning of his career in Cleveland as well.  He brings with him a very different skill set from the defensive minded Garrett Temple, and should provide a spark and some stability to the second unit.  The Nuggets were outscoring teams by 3.0 points per 100 possessions with Miller on the floor.  At 37 years old, Miller probably isn't a guy who is able to provide 25-30 minutes a night anymore, but as John Wall's backup he certainly won't have to.  Durability certainly has not been a problem for Miller, as up until this year he had missed just one game in the past five years.  Miller has been on the outs in Denver, having not played since the end of December, but comes in averaging 5.9 points, 3.3 assists and 2.4 boards per game.  His career numbers are 13.6 points, 7 assists and 3.9 boards per game and he's also only one year removed from averaging about 10 points and 6 assists. 

Miller fits in well to the Wizards guard rotation as a guy who is very good with the ball in his hands.  He plays a pretty old school game, driving to the basket with a variety of change-of-pace moves and frequently using a virtually patented up and under to score.  He's a very good distributor, ranking second in the NBA among active players in assists, and also has always ranked highly in 'assist quality,' a measure of how well a player puts his teammates in a position to score easily.  He led the league in this metric as recently as 2011-12.  Miller is historically not a great long distance shooter, but this should not post a problem though, as he'll almost always be on the floor with two good shooters, considering Ariza, Webster and Beal take up just about all of the minutes at the two and the three.  He'll be tasked with teeing those guys up for threes, rather than taking them himself.  Miller is a good free throw shooter though, with a career average over 80%, something this team needs late in games. 

Miller will be a valuable piece down the stretch for Washington as a guy who will control the tempo, protect the ball and get the second unit going.  It's going to be interesting to see how Miller responds to having not played for so long, but I suspect he's going to come out with a chip on his shoulder after the tumultuous last couple of months he had in Denver.   Welcome to DC, Andre.



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