Andre Miller: 2013-14 Washington Wizards Player Review
TAI’s 2013-14 Washington Wizards player continue. Next up: Andre Miller (by Rashad Mobley).
Previously: Drew Gooden (by John Converse Townsend); Kevin Seraphin (Kyle Weidie); Trevor Ariza (Conor Dirks); Martell Webster (Adam Rubin); Al Harrington (by Kyle Weidie); Garrett Temple (by Adam Rubin); Trevor Booker (by Adam Rubin); Glen Rice, Jr. (by John Converse Townsend); Chris Singleton (by Kyle Weidie).
6-2 : Height
200 lbs. : Weight
38 : Age
14 : Years NBA Experience
6 : NBA Teams
Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers 8th overall in 1999.
Benched in Denver in early 2014 after a rift with Brian Shaw;
Traded to Washington on February 20 as part of a three-team deal
that sent Jan Vesely to the Nuggets and Eric Maynor to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Time as a Wizard in 2013-14
28 : Games
412 : Minutes
NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Rod Strickland for the 2002-03 Minnesota Timberwolves (15.4)
maybe John Lucas for the 1989-90 Houston Rockets (11.5),
0.132 Win Shares/48 Minutes
NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Steve Kerr with the 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs (.109)
With Miller ON the court vs. off
The Wizards offense scored 5.2 points more per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 4.1 points more per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: plus-4.4
Numbers, per 36 Minutes
9.3 : Points
5.0 : Rebounds
0.2 : Blocks
1.7 : Steals
8.5 : Assists
2.4 : Turnovers
3.8 : Fouls
Miller had 181 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.83 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 350th in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.84 PPP over 179 possessions, ranked 108th in the NBA.
46% Field Goals (40-87)
66.7% 3-Point Field Goals (2-3)
83.3% Free Throws (25-30)
What did we expect?
To understand what was expected out of Andre Miller, it is important to highlight what the Wizards were getting out of the backup point guard position prior to his arrival. Eric Maynor was signed at the start of the 2013-14 season, but he was so ineffective (sporting a 6.1 PER compared to the 18.1 shared by the average opposing point guards) that, by December, my colleague Conor Dirks compared his putrid performance to the movie Waterworld. Garrett Temple did a serviceable job as a backup in Maynor’s stead, but as others astutely observed, Temple simply could not put the second unit in the proper positions often enough to be truly effective. Enter Andre Miller.
Here is what I wrote the day after the trade:
Andre Miller, even in his antiquated state, demands attention from opposing teams, while Bradley Beal, who is not a bad playmaker but is a much better shooter, and Martell Webster can now focus on scoring and hopefully hitting open shots with the second unit. Perhaps Randy Wittman will go Don Nelson on everyone and play Miller, Beal and John Wall in the backcourt just to spice things up. Realistic? Not really, but it is about the options a second legitimate point guard provides.
When a 38-year old player joins a playoff-bound roster more than halfway through the season, regular season exploits become relatively meaningless. Andre Miller’s job was to show just enough flashes of brilliance in the 28 games between late-February and April to convince his teammates that he could be counted on when the playoffs began. Andre did just that.
Where John Wall was able to create shots for himself and others via speed and change of pace, Miller’s point-creating powers worked best via post-ups, long football passes and the ability to draw fouls on opposing guards who weren’t comfortable defending bigger guards. With Miller on the floor in the place of Wall, Bradley Beal was able to get more open shots, and the rest of the AARP unit—including Al Harrington and Drew Gooden—were able to find their roles, form and fitness during the regular season.
During the Wizards’ playoff run, Miller averaged just nine minutes, four points and less than one assist per game, and, unfortunately, he did not provide the leadership and backup point guard play expected from a veteran. But as was alluded to earlier, given that his performances of predecessors Eric Maynor and Garrett Temple were so tepid, Miller’s numbers still represented an upgrade.
What was the secret to his success at an advanced age? Martell Webster had a theory:
Per the Washington Post‘s Michael Lee, the Wizards front-office informed Andre Miller’s agent that they’d be retaining his services for another year at $4.6 million. The Wizards could have easily bought Miller out (as only $2 million was guaranteed) to free up more salary cap room, which would have allowed them go after a younger backup point guard, as well as other free agents. But Randy Wittman has history with Andre Miller, who had this to say about his coach after the 2013-14 season concluded:
I talked to one of the other assistant coaches and I told them this is probably—out of all my 15 years, I’ve probably had maybe 15 or 16 coaches—the best I’ve been prepared going into games, going into playoffs.
Coach Wittman will have to carefully monitor Miller’s minutes during an 82-game season in an effort to preserve his almost-40 legs for the playoffs. And if John Wall gets hurt and is forced to miss extended time, Miller’s crafty, intermittent veteran presence will almost immediately morph into a liability with a heavier workload. But for right now, for the first time since Antonio Daniels was on the roster, the Wizards can say they have a veteran, playoff-tested, affordable backup point guard on their roster.
- In just his fourth game as Wizard, Miller scoreed 11 points in 14 minutes against the Toronto Raptors, and helped lead the Wizards to a 134-129, triple overtime victory.
- “The Pass against the Miami Heat:
- Miller scored 10 second-half points as the Wizards defeated the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their playoff series.
- Miller had just four assists over the six-game second round series against the Indiana Pacers—and they all came in Game 4.
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