Miller Open to Coming off Bench, Reunites with Haslem
Miami, July 19 Not everything is clear heading into the upcoming season for recently acquired HEAT guard Mike Miller. Miller, who signed with the HEAT on July 16, doesn't know if he will be starter or a reserve. And with no team practices, he's still not totally familiar with the HEAT's system or schemes yet.
But with the Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh as his teammates, one thing is clear--he will be open, and a lot.
"There should be a lot of open looks," Miller said during Monday's teleconference with Miami media. "There's no question about it."
The 10-year pro ranked second in the NBA last season with the Washington Wizards, connecting on a career-best 48 percent from downtown. Despite spending all but one season of his NBA career as a starter--the lone exception being when he came off the bench 65 times for the Grizzlies during the 2005-06 season--Miller said Monday that he is not opposed to playing a reserve role again.
Miller was the runaway winner for 2005-06 Sixth Man of the Year.
He also admitted that when he signed with the HEAT last week that HEAT President Pat Riley did not mention his specific role on the team.
"We haven't discussed it," he said. "We discussed the possibilities of the kind of team we could put out there at different times of the game, if you want to go big, want to go small."
If coming off the bench means playing behind Wade and James, the former Rookie of the Year said his is fine with that.
"Yeah, I think we can chalk those guys in as the starters," he jokingly said. "It'll probably be a role that I'll play and I have no problem with that.
"I don't think it will be a hard adjustment," he continued. "I think the sixth-man role was something that was fun for me, anyways. I think it's something that obviously is different than starting.
Signing with the HEAT pairs Miller up with college roommate and teammate, Udonis Haslem. The two helped lead Florida to the 2000 NCAA title game against Michigan State. Miller said the two former Gators have talked for years about the chance to be teammates one more time.
"To give us a chance to do it again, it's just an exciting time. He's one of my best friends, obviously, one of favorite teammates of all time."
The two may have come up short on college's biggest stage. Now the duo must focus in on the NBA's biggest prize--an NBA Championship.
"We felt like we had some unfinished business at Florida," he said.