With Cleveland officially signing him earlier this week, the name Mike Miller must be swirling in the minds of Cavs fans.
For me, when thinking of Mike, my memory bank travels back to a night in June of 2012, when in a Finals-clinching Game 5 Miller became unconscious from three-point land.
To get the goosebumps flowing, I searched the depths of YouTube to find the following clip that shows all SEVEN of Mike’s threes in that contest.
Watch not only the way Miller moves, but the clear feel that LeBron has for where he is going to be on the floor.
Obviously LeBron’s basketball IQ has a lot to do with this, but when you watch how aware Miller is of what’s going on, it should make you very excited to have him in Cleveland this fall.
Following that incredible performance, Miller went through the 2012-13 campaign with very strong numbers, while appearing in 59 games.
However, he only played 15 minutes a night (the lowest of his career).
This was done mainly to manage Mike and keep him as healthy as possible. After all, since he signed with Miami in 2010 he had four surgeries for his thumb, shoulder and to repair a sports-induced hernia.
In addition, Miller had back problems, and although he played in all seven NBA Finals games in 2013, (and started the last four), he really began to look like a player on their last leg toward the end of the year.
(Though he did manage to do this with only one shoe in the historic Game 6 comeback victory in the 2013 NBA Finals):
Then, something unfortunate happened.
The Heat were forced to amnesty Mike to save them from having to pay a luxury tax. While the move saved Heat owner Micky Arison nearly $17 million, he overruled Pat Riley to make the move and reportedly frustrated LeBron in the process.
Soon after, something wonderful happened to Miller.
While playing with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, he:
Appeared in all 82 games (the most since his rookie season)
Averaged nearly 21 minutes (the most since ’09-’10)
Shot 48 percent from the field (the most since ’09-’10)
And shot nearly 46 percent from beyond the arc (the most since ’09-’10).
So naturally, when the opportunity to play with LeBron again and compete for titles appeared, Miller didn’t even blink.
In fact, he turned down $12 million over three years from Denver to play alongside the King.
The verdict is simple:
Miller is coming off one of the best years of his career and, after seeing him in action last season, looks ready to put together a similar campaign with the Cavs.
All that veteran experience and all that talent sits right on David Blatt’s bench, ready to strike from downtown at any moment.
Let it fly Mike, let it fly.