NBA / Oct 7, 2009 / 1:15 pm

Andre Miller Doesn’t Get The Blazers’ Big Picture

Andre Miller

Last week we brought up the point guard battle going on in Portland, and were pretty certain that after signing Andre Miller to a three-year, $21 million deal, it was a no-brainer that the 12-year vet was going to start. Not so fast. According to The Oregonian, Nate McMillan was very clear with Miller when the team recruited him this summer saying that he “envisioned Miller coming off the bench, running pick and rolls with Oden and funneling fast-break passes to Fernandez and Webster streaking on the wings.” And it appears that’s how it’s going to be.

“The one thing is, I don’t (mess) around with you in the summer,” McMillan said, becoming stern. “When I tell you something, that is what I’m thinking. So when I told Andre that he was coming off the bench, I was for real. Now, he said he wanted to start, and I understand that. And there is a chance he could. I’m not saying we won’t go there.”

Managing one of the deepest rosters in the League, McMillan envisions his starting unit staying intact from last season with Steve Blake, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Joel Przybilla beginning the games, and Miller, Fernandez, Webster, Travis Outlaw and Oden coming off the bench.

“I do see something in that unit,” McMillan said. “I think that can be a unit that is very difficult to defend and play against — whether it’s the first or second. There is a balance there — we can run pick and rolls, we can run post-ups, we can run turn-outs, we can trap … we can do the same thing with this unit as we can with that unit. So there’s a balance.”

As anyone knows, it doesn’t matter who starts the game, but rather who finishes them. For example, while Batum would lineup around the circle to start each night last year, Outlaw was the one nailing jumpers in the clutch. Still, when you’re dealing with a former No. 1 pick in Oden and a guy who’s started in every single game that he’s played in since the start of the 2000-01 season (except one after being traded to the Sixers from the Nuggets), there’s much more involved than meets the eye.

Personally, I love what McMillan is doing. Starting Blake and bringing Miller off the bench will make the Blazers that much more of a dangerous team. Lamar Odom bought in to coming off the bench last season and the Lakers won a title. If Miller and Oden can adjust to not coming out for the pre-game intros, then the Blazers might be able to do the same.

What do you think?

Source: The Oregonian

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  • mark wu

    Throwing their money at Andre Miller because no one else was left may just be the thing that kills the Blazers

  • loganlight

    I wish more NBA players would understand that coming off of the bench is a PART OF THE GAME. Goodness… I loved coming off of the bench in High School. It often meant that I would get to feast on the other teams second unit match ups. As a point guard, when I played with the first team it was all about running sets and making the passes to our scorers… but when I came off the bench I was given an incredible amount of freedom to be a playmaker, whether that was through scoring or passing.

    In the NBA it’s that much better because you STILL GET PAID. The Blazers are paying Miller like a starter to bring him off the bench, he should be more than happy with that.

    IF Miller buys in, thats a big IF, then the Blazers will have something that few teams in the League have. They have a 2nd unit that could pass as a 1st unit. Match up problems will be everywhere. Nate McMillan knows exactly what he’s doing… and that is why I think the Blazers help to kick New Orleans out of the playoffs.


  • http://www.bartking.net Bart King

    Andre Miller looked great in his first preseason action last night. But his attitude to the media is horrendous, and there’s a possibility that he’s a merchant of discord: http://tinyurl.com/y9b8e9s

  • That’s whats up

    Andre Miller Doesn’t Get To The Barber

  • Mellmeister

    oh mayne… that sucks… they’ll have steve “got stroke” blake start? oh mayne… dude can be an explosive 6th man for the blazers though… :) tough love… hahahahaha!

  • Banga

    McMillan’s plan is sound but it’ll only work if Andre Miller doesn’t complain…

    Realistically he will be playing the Point at the end of the game anyways so I don’t see what his problem is.

    End of the Game Lineup should be

    Andre Miller
    Brandon Roy
    Travis Outlaw
    Oden/Przybilla (depends on Oden’s Development)

  • K Dizzle

    If I’m Bayless, I destroy Miller and Blake in EVERY practice, and make this a real tough decision for Nate.

  • SayItAintSo

    Seriously…the end of the game in the playoffs is a moot point if Bayless steps it up. The Blazers NEED a quicker point guard to compete with the other teams in the west. I don’t know why they signed another slow, crafty veteran PG.

  • Chuck

    I feel what SatitAintSo is sayin, I mean bayless is a beast and extremely quick and I think I would rather have him running point than No D blake or declining and aging Miller.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Awwwww man that is jaaaacked up. I bet they didn’t even make it clear to that dude he wasn’t going to be the starter.

    If they keep Blake starting the game for periods of time that are to long, then they basically going as far as they went last playoffs.

    Blake needs to come off the bench with his energy and Let Andre run the show, with Blake and whoever else providing rest for dude. But Miller should be starting and ending.

  • Irishballer

    firstly, LOL @ that picture of andre miller

    If I were the McMillan, I’d start Miller and Oden over Blake and Pryzbilla… with that said, if both Miller and Oden can remain satisfied and perform optimally coming off the bench, the Blazers will be oh-so very good.

  • Zers

    By the trade deadline Blake will be gone, Miller will be starting, and Bayless will be the backup

  • maeng

    that blazers “envisioned 2nd unit looks better than most starting five in the L. this team is deep.

  • Blk Caesar

    Andre Miller is actually not declining. Last year he averaged 16.3 ppg (above his career avg) and 6.5 apg and played 36 min per game.. Not to mention he is a better player than Steve Blake.. I think McMillan doesn’t want to mess with the chemistry that the starting five has especially since they won 54 games last year… If I am Bayless I would be worried.. If he couldn’t crack the starting lineup last year with just Blake as his main competition then he is really going to have a problem with Miller in the backcourt now.. Bayless has to step up big time this season or he could find himself on another team come Feb.

  • Todd

    I don’t see what everyone else seems to see in Bayless. He’s no point guard. His telegraphed attacks on the rim are routinely rejected. Too short for two-guard. Great energy, hard-working, but he’s not near ready to be an nba point guard. I’ll take Blake over Bayless anyday.

  • nowwhatyo

    McMillan is a great coach, and the team can only benefit by buying into his system, regardless of who starts and who comes off the bench. McMillan is a huge part of the reason this team is as good as it is. The team should just buy in and trust that McMillan is smart enough to make the needed adjustments throughout the game when it comes to who will be on the floor during crunch time. The team is deep and talented, but McMillan is the one who will put all the pieces of the puzzle together for the team to be successful, and the players should just listen. McMillan for COY.

  • yoda

    andre is only 12 years in nba? :O

  • Brian

    What nobody commenting on this post seems to understand is this: Brandon Roy wants Steve Blake to start.

    Brandon Roy needs the ball in his hands.

    Andre Miller needs the ball in his hands.

    Steve Blake doesn’t need the ball in his hands.

    Therefore, Steve Blake is going to play with Brandon Roy.

    Why do you think Steve Kerr and John Paxson played so well with Michael Jordan? They didn’t need the ball.

    Miller could be Sixth Man of the Year. He’ll be fine.

  • Matt

    I don’t see any quotes from Andre Miller saying he doesn’t get the big picture. It only says that in the title which was written by the author. So, what gives?

  • realestnegroonthislabel

    What a malcontent this Allen Iverson is! Too good for the bench!? No wonder the Sixers traded his ego away for Andre Miller, a guy who is will– oh what now?

  • stephen h

    i think this article doesn’t really give any examples of how andre miller “doesn’t get” anything. there are no quotes from him saying he has a problem with this, in fact there’s been numerous quotes from him saying he’s here in portland to do what it takes.

    frankly, after seeing him play last night in the preseason opener, i think coach nate knows EXACTLY what he’s doing, and andre will flourish here.

  • Chris

    –“If I’m Bayless, I destroy Miller and Blake in EVERY practice”

    If Bayless were capable of that, Miller wouldn’t be on the team. He’s athletic, but he doesn’t know how to run a team.

    –“I don’t know why they signed another slow, crafty veteran PG.”

    Umm, because he’s good? Miller is a floor general, and he knows how to feed a big man–two things that Oden needs.

    –“Why do you think Steve Kerr and John Paxson played so well with Michael Jordan? They didn’t need the ball.”

    Scottie Pippen also played well with Jordan, and he had the ball in his hands a lot. Roy doesn’t “need” the ball in his hands; he is very effective with the ball, but he can play off it too.

  • doc

    Im thinking Nate know what he talking about.I been telling yall stop hyping this Andre Miller prick up.All this Great point guard bullshit because he was the Sixers point guard and so called led us to 38 and 40 wins and 2 first round ass whippings that we gonna do again this year without him anyway.

  • doc

    And if yall watched the Blazers Brandon Roy handles the rock in the clutch.What Andre Miller gonna go spot up for a trey?LOL

  • ab_40

    GO needs 25 to 30 mpg this year I hope he get’s it. steve blake will get 20 or less I can see Roy and Rudy playing the one and two from time to time

  • Mack Brownee

    N-mac is a great coach and is making a great coaching decision…it didn’t make sense at first until i read what he had to say

  • the cynic

    I don’t think some of you have seen Bayless play outside of summer league. He is so far away from being a point guard he makes Tyreke Evans look like he has been playing the position for years.

    And I still don’t understand this signing completely, Miller CAN’T shoot. Miller’s sole purpose is to make the game easier for Oden

  • http://verizon.net pdxballer

    @ markwu
    lets wait until miller’s time in portland pans out to judge him, not one game into his first preseason with them

    i think miller should suck it up and come off the bench
    if he cant accept his role shrinking or changing for a chance at a championship he’s no better than a.i. whining about having to be a sixth man

  • Tim E.

    Anyone talking crap about Miller should have seen the show he put on last night. I think this is the right team, and he’s the right guy to lead them.

  • sh!tfaced

    Dre Miller will be just another starter in sheep’s clothing.

    Like what they do with Manu in SA, JR Smith with the Nuggets and the Knicks’ David Lee last year.

  • YA BOI

    Nate does know exactly what his doing, and soon enough when we’re winning Andre will follow as well. A point guard to a point guard. He wants a championship then he will understand what sacrifices it takes to win it all.

  • arisloco


    Enough said.

  • karizmatic

    Portland is probably the deepest team in the league.

  • http://www.utjazzblog.com Utah Jazz Blog

    That 2nd unit is sick. As a Jazz fan, I can only hope there are chemistry issues with that team. Otherwise Portland will be a force.

  • http://nbaroundtable.wordpress.com/ Dave

    I think it’s the right move. Steve Blake is a much better fit in that starting lineup because of his shooting ability, which I believe allows Roy to be more effective as a scorer/playmaker. While Miller is the better player, I think he’d be a lot less effective in that Blazers starting unit than he has been in the past, and less effective than Blake.

    Likewise, Miller can be on the ball more often and be more involved offensively when he’s playing alongside the bench players.

    I think it makes the best use of both players talents.