On a Memphis team in need of shooting, Mike Miller’s role grew and grew last season. He stayed healthy for 82 games and came off the bench to knock down more threes than anyone on the team and put up 7.1 points a game. If he’d returned to the land of great barbecue that role would have expanded more.
Instead he’s headed to Cleveland with LeBron James.
That’s going to mean fewer minutes, fewer touches (Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and James Jones can all knock down the three ball). But Miller is good with that because he wants another ring, he told the Cavaliers official Web site.
”There’s no reason to have concern (over touches),” Miller explained. “I’ve been blessed enough to be in my 15th season. It’s going to take sacrifices. This team, as good as it looks on paper, if we’re going to be successful, people are going to have to sacrifice — whether it’s minutes, shots or financially — that’s the commitment it takes to win a championship. It’s never easy.”
Miller and other veteran addition Shaun Marion will be key for Cleveland this year. The team is loaded with talent but it’s going to spend a season trying to find its identity under coach David Blatt, plus when it gets to the playoffs a lot of key guys (Irving and Love in particular, plus Dion Waiters and others) have never been there. Miller and Marion can help guide a young team through the rough parts. That LeBron guy can pitch in, too.
”For our team this year, it’s been well-documented what our goal is and what our expectations are here,” Miller said. “There’s going to be ups and downs. But the whole thing for us is to make sure that we get better every game, continue to get better the whole season and, hopefully, we’ll be playing our best basketball when it really matters.”
Sounds good. But saying it is the easy part, there is no easy way of making it reality.