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Cleveland Cavaliers Addition of Mike Miller Could Land Cavs Deep in NBA Playoffs
With all the news surrounding the return of LeBron James to Cleveland, one of the more underrated signings came this past week in the way of former Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies veteran, Mike Miller. The move reunites Miller and James in Cleveland, a combination that parted ways this past season after joining forces on the Heat in 2010.
The deal is said to be worth $5.5 million over two seasons, with a player option after year one, and it’s reportedly less than he was offered from Denver and Dallas this offseason. The move is a welcomed one, but it should come as no surprise. Throughout LeBron’s career, veteran players have been taking considerably less money to play alongside him in a quest for NBA titles, and Miller is no different.
At 34-years of age, Miller still has a lot of good tread left on the tires. With his game centering around finesse and accuracy, as opposed to athleticism, he will be a valuable contributor in Cleveland. What Miller truly brings is a comfort-factor for LeBron, a veteran leadership in the locker room and on the court and it also brings a skill-set that the Cavs have struggled with—the deep ball.
Last season, the Cavaliers converted an average of 7.1 three-pointers off of 20 attempts per game, adding up to just over a 35.6 percentage. Ranking 18th in the league on three-point conversions, the Cavaliers were led in the category by power forward Spencer Hawes with a .416 and C.J. Miles with a .393 rate. Since then, Miles has departed for the Indiana Pacers, while Hawes signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, making Miller all the more valuable to Cleveland.
Comparatively, Miller boasted the third best percentage in the league with a 45.9 percent conversion rate, finishing only behind Atlanta’s Kyle Korver and New York’s Pablo Prigioni. On 233 attempts, Miller hit on 107 shots from behind the arc, proving his shot definitely isn’t declining with age. In fact, the conversion rate is the third-highest of Miller’s career, and better than anyone on the Cavaliers last season.
“Thanks to Memphis for a great year!! But I’m so excited to be a part of the Cleveland family and their fans,” Miller posted via Instagram. “The only thing you can expect from me is everything I have! Thanks for the opportunity.”
With the young core of the Cavaliers consisting of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, the leadership and experience in the playoffs that Miller brings could be invaluable late in the season. After winning two rings with LeBron and Miami, Miller knows what it takes to win, and at the end of the day, he could very well be that piece that puts this Cleveland team over the top.
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