Blog Entry

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:15 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver andre-miller

You can't teach an old point guard new tricks.

Veteran floor general Andre Miller, traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets, says his talent outpaces his current role and he will likely seek a new home this summer, according to
Miller, who becomes a free agent after the season, said before Wednesday's game against New Jersey that "probably not" would he return to the Nuggets next season if the role is to back up Ty Lawson. But he wouldn't completely rule that out as a possibility if no better situations were to be available.

"At this point in my career, I don't see myself as a backup," Miller, who entered the NBA in 1999, said in an interview with "For 13 years, I wasn't a backup before. This is a short season (due to the lockout), so I'll deal with it. But I don't see myself as a backup at this point in my career. I don't see that."

Miller said he hasn't spoke of not liking his backup role to Nuggets coach George Karl, and that he doesn't plan to have such a conversation. Karl said this was the first he'd heard of Miller's disappointment. "I'm glad he's proud of himself and he wants to play," Karl said. "But I think this still is the best opportunity for him."
Miller, 35, is in his 13th NBA season. He's currently backing up Ty Lawson, 24, who is clearly the team's point guard of the future and has breakout potential for the Nuggets, who are currently 6-4 on the season and boast a top-10 offense. Because of Lawson, the marriage between Denver and Miller is a short-term match unless Miller is willing to embrace the reserve role. While he's past his prime, Miller, like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, remains effective late in his career. 

He's right that there are teams he could start for in the NBA, even at 35. While generally regarded as one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA, Miller is unyielding in his deliberate style and need to have the ball in his hands. An excellent passer who makes up for his lack of athleticism with elite vision, Miller was a solid starter for the Blazers, a one-and-done playoff team, last season.

However, he and Portland coach Nate McMillan had their own squabbles over Miller's role, as former Blazers guard Brandon Roy dominated the ball and preferred a floor-spacing shooter to play alongside him, rather than Miller. McMillan opted to begin the 2009-2010 season by starting current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake over Miller, and McMillan and Miller later engaged in a shouting match during a practice that was overheard by the media. Miller eventually moved into the starting lineup and was a key factor in the development of Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the 2010-2011 season.

Miller is currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.9 assists per game so far this season. He's playing 28.1 minutes per game, the fewest since his rookie season.

Interestingly, Miller's teammate Al Harrington had this to say on the NBA podcast this week:

"I think that we share the basketball, which is probably some of the best team passing that I've been around in my career. Guys are really pulling for each other. No one's really worried about being the top scorer or man on the team, we're just trying to win. Whenever you have that kind of chemistry, I think you can do special things."

Apparently Miller isn't on board with that idea as much. You can listen to the rest of our interview with Al Harrington below:


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Andre Miller is a problem

Miller's recent best moments have come when he is hitting his shots and takes over the offense for a team. Unfortunately that does not happen as often as Miller taking over an offense. In other words this point guard believes he is entitled to call his own number (cringe when he shoots threes) in any game. He was a locker-room cancer in Portland by demanding to start over Blake. He is better than Blake except for defense and three-point shooting. What did the Blazers need from their point guard? Defense and three-point shooting. Miller not only got into a shouting match with Coach McMillan but gave an interview before that to a local paper which demanded that he be starting.

I do feel for Denver. They believed they would get a near-ideal bench point guard. Instead they got this. And to think they gave up Felton to do so! I know each GM has many more factors to consider in making a trade than is obvious to us as public. Denver also got a draft pick which turned into Kenneth Faried. He may turn out to be a big contributor - you have to like his motor.

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:32 am
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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:27 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

You got that right Stranger.
If this was 31-32 year old Miller then yeah, he's the starter.
He still has great skills but sometimes he gets too crazy when trying to create plays. And chucks up WAY too many 3's for someone who isn't a great 3pt shooter.
Sad to see that a guy usually know for his classiness is resorting to griping about his situation in the press. He's 35 years old, there's what? Two maybe three teams that would want a 35 year old guy as their starting point guard? And even those know that next year or the year after he's going to be coming off the bench. Most Denver fans really like him, so not quite sure why he feels this isn't the place for him. Other than just not getting to be the starter.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:26 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

I don't think he suggested he should start over Lawson, just that he should start somewhere in the NBA. Pretty unfortunate timing as they are starting out well. He should just perform his current role to the best of his ability to showcase his skills and look for a new team in the offseason. Miami could use a starting pg upgrade and quite a few other teams as well.

Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:19 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

I used to be a fan of his as I always thought he was more of a soft spoken guy.  I understand the guy just wants to play basketball, but if he thinks he is going to start over Ty Lawson then he's crazy!

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:18 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

I'm really disappointed that Andre would say something like that. The Nuggets have a good thing going right now it seems like. They are playing team basketball and everybody is getting involved. I would hate for one guy to undo all that with selfishness. Luckily I haven't seen anything on the court that would make it apparent that he is playing at less than top ability. Karl has been his biggest supporter.

It will be interesting to see if he feels the same way if the Nuggets can make a good playoff run.

Since: Nov 18, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:54 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

So, after 13 seasons as a pro, Andre Miller cannot conduct himself like one.  Run your mouth to the media... yeah, that always works out for the best...  I'll trust George Karl on this one.  Andre Miller should too -- Karl gave him an opportunity in Denver.  Is Miller really stupid enough to buck the decisions of the guy who's his biggest advocate?  He's gonna get a few more minutes anyway with Lawson hurting. 

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:21 am

Nuggets G Andre Miller: I should be a starter

Sorry Andre, you had a nice run, but Ty Lawson is way better than you now.

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