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Over the course of the Miami Heat's training camp, Hot Hot Hoops will give player profiles for all Heat players. Now up is a man who is permanently etched in Miami Heat lore for his 3-point display in the NBA Finals, Mike Miller.
Who is he?
In the free agency frenzy of 2010, Mike Miller was one of the best options available after the fray of All-Stars were off the market, and somehow, the Heat managed to fit Miller under their cap on a five-year deal.
He was going to be a tremendous complement to Miami's superstar perimeter duo of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, with his floor spacing on the floor with them, and his playmaking when one or both of them were off the floor as a sixth man.
The Heat were essentially getting another Eddie Jones, a shooting and slashing swingman who could defend, except Miller was a better rebounder and a more efficient offensive player.
But the season didn't even start before those plans were demolished. Two years later, Miller is a shadow of himself a summer after contemplating retirement after an assortment of injuries hampered his play.
He chose to come back, and the 13-year veteran can still offer the team shooting ability, which there can't be enough of around here.
What will his role be?
Many of Miller's minutes will be taken by new arrival Ray Allen, who brings the precise spot-up shooting ability even a historically great shooter like Miller doesn't have. Between Miller, Allen, James Jones and Shane Battier, the Heat will have a veteran cast of wings who can shoot behind Wade and James.
Miller is said to be as healthy as he can possibly be considering his back woes of last season, but to expect that to remain the case is wishful thinking.
He will fight for 10-15 minutes a night and can catch fire on a given night where he lets it fly from distance with the great looks this Heat team creates. Miller also is a sturdy defender and rebounder, despite the deterioration of his ability to take opponents off the dribble and create for others offensively, so he is more than a spot up option for the Heat.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
One if the best shooters to even lace up a pair of sneakers, Miller has drained 1,351 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting in the NBA. He can unquestionably put the ball in the hole from beyond the arc.
As mentioned before, Miller is also a solid defensive small forward. Miller got lit up on spot-ups last season, but he was impressive vs. isolation plays, which constituted 21 percent of his defensive possessions. He checked opponents on 35 percent shooting against in that scenario.
Miller also averages nearly six boards a game for his career per 36 minutes, averaging seven flat in his two seasons in red, black and white. He's valued as a maximum effort role player at this point in his career for his trademark hustle plays.
The negatives are he simply cannot create for himself or others anymore, which can be sad to look at considering he was once a versatile, complete offensive player. Miller can't get to the foul line at all, or threaten off of dribble penetration anymore, and this has resulted in lowered efficiency from the field despite the fact that he's still bombing away from the outside.
The most obvious weakness with Miller is that he cannot be relied on to stay healthy throughout a season.
Miller will dunk at least twice this season.