Grantland.com’s Zach Lowe calls Andre Miller “Professor Miller ,” a man who has earned his PhD at PGU (Point Guard University).
He does so for good reason.
Miller, 37, might as well be called Grandpa Miller because of NBA experience and the speed he plays the game at. Sometimes, it feels like Miller is a septuagenarian pushing a shopping cart across an open supermarket looking for all the food on his list. But Miller is still contributing in the NBA even with his diminished athletic ability.
However, Miller may not be contributing on the Nuggets for long thanks to a his frustration with rookie head coach Brian Shaw. Shaw and the Nuggets are 14-17 and have an uphill battle in front of them if they want to make the postseason. And Miller is unhappy with how Shaw is coaching the team. He confronted Shaw during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers where Miller picked up his first “Did Not Play” of his 15 year-career.
As a result, the Nuggets have suspended Professor Miller and stories have come out about the possibility of a trade.
The Warriors are reportedly interested and even though Stephen Curry could run down and back on an NBA court before Miller could reach half-court, for the Warriors bringing in Miller would be a good move.
The Warriors don’t have a backup point guard. Kent Bazemore, Toney Douglas, and Nemanja Nedovic have not, are not, and will not do the job. Per game, the Warriors average 24.3 points from their point guard spot; 23.4 of those 24.3 are from Curry, leaving on average only 0.9 points per game from their other points guards. I even question if they have another true point guard on their roster. Douglas is truly an undersized shooting guard and Kent Bazemore is still learning to be a point guard.
Professor Miller is a professor because he has mastered the crafted of being a successful point guard. Setting up his team in the proper set, thinking one or two passes ahead of the defense every time, knowing where the ball should go when. He is not a scorer, but a true facilitator.
Stylistically, while he is not a great fit because of his almost non-existent thre-point shooting, he has taken only 12 threes this year, making seven of them. The Nuggets are another team that likes to run up and down the floor and actually shoot a better percentage from three with him on the floor rather than off of it.
Having Curry play 44 minutes in January will wear him out for April, May, and hopefully June, when the Warriors will need Curry the most. They need a backup point guard. With Curry off the floor the Dubs have a plus/minus of minus 2.9 and not surprisingly shoot worse percentages from the field and three. Per 100 possessions with Curry off the floor, the Warriors would accumulate 20 turnovers and have a plus/minus of minus 10.3. You know what Miller doesn’t do. He seldom turns the ball over or forces the action.
Both Bazemore and Douglas, the Warriors’ current band-aid solutions to the backup point guard problem that was exposed when Jarrett Jack fled to Cleveland, have negative plus-minus’ and neither can be consistently counted on. The Warriors bench averages only 22.7 points per game, which is tied for 30th with the Wizards, and 12 of those 23 points comes from Harrison Barnes.
Even at 37 years of age, Miller can still contribute for 10-15 minutes per game, and his lack of three point shooting should not be a major factor if they surround him with the right pieces.
If Mark Jackson and GM Bob Myers were truly educated men then they would trade for the smartest man on the market right now, Professor Miller.