2018-19 Pelicans Season in Review: Darius Miller
by Jim Eichenhofer
21
Darius Miller
2018-19 SEASON STATS
MPG
25.5
FG%
39
3P%
36.5
FT%
78.9
PPG
8.2
RPG
1.9
APG
2.1
BPG
0.3
Age 29
NBA experience Five seasons (five with Pelicans)
Games played/started 69/15

Listen to Jim Eichenhofer & Daniel Sallerson's Review of Darius Miller's 2018-19 Performance

Season Overview

The only current New Orleans Pelican who’s been a college and pro teammate of Anthony Davis, Miller spent a significant chunk of his April 10 exit interview fielding questions about Davis’ image, future and how the All-Star’s January trade request impacted the locker room in ’18-19. However, as the father of a pair of youngsters pointed out, due to having “two wild kids at home,” Miller already has plenty to keep his mind occupied when he’s not playing basketball. As he enters free agency for the first time since returning to the Crescent City for a second stint in 2017, Miller is again trying to focus on what he can control and not getting preoccupied with what’s ahead come July 1.

“It’s really just a waiting game,” Miller said, looking forward. “I’m going to take this time to spend time with my family and enjoy them, wait to see what happens."

“(I’ll) just continue to work on every aspect of my game (this offseason). I’ll talk to the coaches and see what they think I should do this summer, come up with a plan, and just try to execute it.”

With the exception of some injuries, which cost him 13 games during the ’18-19 season, Miller produced remarkably similar season statistically in comparison to ’17-18. For instance, he took 484 shots from the field, after firing 487 in ’17-18, while taking 364 threes, compared to 358 the season before. He made 14 fewer treys, however, which accounts for his dip in three-point percentage from 41.1 to 36.5. Still, in a league where perimeter accuracy is a much-needed skill, Miller led New Orleans in total three-point baskets (133) and attempts, while placing second in accuracy, behind only E’Twaun Moore’s 43.2 percent. The Pelicans finished No. 24 of 30 teams in three-point percentage (34.4), a rate that dips to 34.0 – and tied for third-worst in the league with New York and Dallas – if you subtract Miller’s numbers.

Miller made his NBA playoff debut in ’18 as essentially the team’s seventh man, playing more postseason minutes off the bench than any Pelican other than Ian Clark. His role was much more in flux in ’18-19; for example, he averaged 19.6 minutes in October/November, but was up to 30.2 per game in January. A constantly-changing starting lineup and rotation contributed greatly to New Orleans dropping from 48-34 to 33-49 record-wise, despite a 4-0 start and 10-7 record just before Thanksgiving.

“We dealt with a lot of injuries,” Miller said. “We had a pretty good start, had some high expectations in the locker room, but stuff happens.”

The injury bug spread to virtually everyone, including Miller, who missed the final five games due to thigh and groin ailments. However, the forward noted April 10 that he expected to be back on the court within about a week, working out and getting prepared for next season.

BY THE NUMBERS

7

Miller four-point plays during the ’18-19 regular season, ranking him fifth among all players. Only James Harden (20), J.J. Redick (9), Terrence Ross (8) and Stephen Curry (8) had more, according to the site NBAminer.com.

11-8

New Orleans record when Miller made at least 50 percent of his three-point attempts. The Pelicans were 20-30 in the other 50 games Miller played.

19

Times Miller logged 30-plus minutes in ’18-19, out of his 69 appearances. The previous season, he did so 16 times in 82 outings.

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