In the past weeks, NBA TV has been showing top games from 2008-09. I happened to catch several, one being Tony Parker’s career-high 55 point game, which came on an early November night in Minneapolis. That’s right, Mike Miller and Randy Foye had the privilege of being on the court to witness. Naturally, I perked up to pay attention, and take some notes on what I observed of the two new Wizards.
Word of Minnesota’s offense slowing down at the unspoken decree of Al Jefferson (approved by Randy Wittman) were confirmed. But at least Big Al was willing to take charges, such early in the third quarter when Miller chose a horrible angle to close out on Michael Finley at the three point line. Miller had no balance, and his hands were neither active, nor high. The 35-year old Finley easily blew by, but lost focus during his open path and plowed into Jefferson for the offensive foul.
The very next time down the court, Miller found himself helping off Finley, who was again spotted up at the top of the key. Tony Parker was curling off a Tim Duncan ball screen on the wing, so yes, Miller had to help stop the penetration. But once the ball was kicked back to Finley, Miller hesitated on the close-out, letting Finley’s previous drive to the hoop get into his head. Finley only needed that split-second of space to start drooling. The wide-open three was easy money for a shooter like him. Miller was never in a good position to even give a half-hearted contest.
Clearly, Mike Miller is not too swift on his feet … but this is something we all figured. His defense might be an issue, but not because of a lack of effort.
Tags: al jefferson, alonzo mourning, anderson verajao, bruce bowen, chris gatling, erick dampier, fabricio oberto, michael finley, Mike Miller, minnesota timberwolves, moses malone, Randy Foye, Randy Wittman, San Antonio Spurs, tony parker