Since most top rookies get their own thread, I thought it would be better to have a dedicated thread to discuss the newest lottery member apart from the other team or roster threads.
Hopefully over the last few days, everyone who wanted a different player has gotten over the hangover. There is a lot to like about Miller’s game and personality that I’ve seen in recent videos, that I definitely think will win fans over.
Just a simple run through his actual skillset, he’s not just a “safe” pick, there is actually a ton of upside and potential, and is truly something that is really hard to find in the NBA.
- Elite shot-maker who displays an aptitude for hitting movement 3s off of handoffs and pick-and-pops. He has clean, effortless mechanics.
- Flashes potential scoring ability off the dribble with high-arcing shots over smaller defenders from midrange, and deep pull-ups behind the arc. As the season has progressed, he’s getting to the rim with greater regularity.
- Makes passes that players his size often don’t attempt, which is why he says he loves stealing moves from Paul George. He can drive into the paint and then rise over the defense to whip a pass to the opposite corner. He can also run a pick-and-roll, draw a blitz, then zip a pass to his rolling big. He has a great feel for the game when the ball is in his hands, and a bit of a flair, too, given his love for looking off defenders.
- Active on-ball defender with the lateral quickness and length to contain multiple positions. Off the ball, he hustles and displays good instincts for navigating screens. He regularly logs chasedown blocks.
- Crafty ball handler who dramatically improved as an at-rim finisher during his season, hitting over 65 percent of shots at the rim from early December until March.
I realized I highlighted about every word in that writeup, but these skills and intangibles don’t normally exist all in one player. There are definitely weaknesses that I am not overlooking, but looking at skills and strengths, this is a great list of traits for the prototypical wing star every team is looking for. On both sides of the ball. And he hustles too. And even tries to impact the game when his shot is struggling.
On his “lack” of athleticism - I feel some critics went way overboard to the point of almost making him seem not athletic at all. He is not Vince Carter, as are most people including NBA players, but he is still in the upper echelon of athletes. You don’t often see someone taking off from outside the paint, jump over a player and tomahawk on their heads if you’re an average athlete.
As for being shy or a weak personality that isn’t good in the spotlight - he’s actually a really playful goofy personality, self deprecating and not full of himself. But he also has a little swagger to him, isn’t afraid to talk trash, even with the king of trash talk in MJ. I think he will definitely endear himself to most of the fanbase if they’re not focusing on Mr. Supposed Star Personality That Got Away.
And of course, he has this cool confidence, maybe borderline brashness that he delivers in a laidback manner. But I love that kind of mindset, preparing for and expecting the best. NBA Finals next year? Alright, go for it!
Lastly, here are some highlights to reinforce the actual skillset he has. I was actually surprised with his passing ability and ball handling, especially later in the year. I read about the Paul George comps, but didn’t see it in the early highlights, but he showed it as the year went on.I think Miller has a chance to be a really special player, and even though Melo is a fan favorite, Miller could be a fellow fan favorite of a lot of fans too. And with Mark’s personality, I think he fits in great with our young core going forward.