Thursday Practice Update: Mike Miller’s Role & Flip on Team Rebounding
An update from Thursday’s practice …
Mike Miller Playmaking Role
Mike Miller just wants to be apart of a winning team. This is clear from the selfless attitude he has taken. When asked about his role on Thursday, he said he knows he’s not going to get 15-16 looks on offense anymore … and he’s fine with that. Of course, some might contend that he didn’t shoot enough with the Timberwolves last year and that he needs to be more aggressive on offense this season. But increased offensive assertiveness doesn’t necessarily mean shooting the ball.
In comparing his two potential roles for this team, starting versus coming off the bench (which is looking more and more like what he’s going to do as Flip Saunders today said that DeShawn Stevenson will probably start at shooting guard tomorrow), Miller said, “The second unit has me more of playmaker … making other guys around me better. We have enough playmakers in that first unit, so I’m playing there, it’s going to be more of a shot maker and a guy who rebounds … still making plays for people, but not nearly as much as on the second unit.”
He went on to reiterate that he just wants to make his second unit teammates better, saying they will be playing a completely different style than the first unit. Dare I dub Miller as a ’6th Man of The Year’ candidate (which would be his second time receiving the award)?
We will see. But bringing a veteran playmaker with diverse skills off the bench, someone who Saunders can trust, might be the way to go.
Suggested Reading: Randy Foye gets “in the flow” when paired with another ball-handler [Bullets Forever]
That Rebounding Thing
Flip Saunders called the rebounding “atrocious” after Tuesday’s game. He talked about how he addressed the team in this regard:
“Yea, ‘effin’ rebound (laughs), that’s what I told them to do. Get some contact on someone and go after it. So it’s hitting somebody and pursuing the ball. We’ve had rebounding drills the last couple of days. You know, rebounding is a mindset. It’s a will. I think sometimes, what happens with us, and I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, when you throw a lot of things at a team, as far as defensively and coverages, and offensively, what happens sometimes is they’re thinking about what they’re supposed to do. So, if you think and don’t react right away to rebound, you’re going to be dead. My hope is that the more comfortable they get with everything we’re doing, they’re going to be able to react better and be able to rebound better … and that should happen.”
Nick Young’s New Role (for now)
As mentioned, Saunders said that Stevenson will start at the two against Dallas … just to get a different look in this experimental phase. He also said he’ll let Nick Young chase Jason Terry around. If you remember after Tuesday’s game, Saunders cited Young for a getting tired from trying to keep up with his man around screens toward the end. Something to keep an eye on.
For more on Thursday’s practice, check out Mike Jones’ post on Wizards Outlet.