caseyholdahl

Feb 07

Andre Miller Does It All

By caseyholdahl Posted in: AndreMiller, Blazers, Bulls, LaMarcusAldridge
Andre Miller is doing a little bit of everything these days. Sometimes he's supporting his teammates by saying something he knows they can't. Other times he's pointing out inequities in foul calls (though he probably made no mention of that tonight after Portland shot 22 more free throws than Chicago). And other times, despite being mentioned in seemingly every trade scenario that involves the Trail Blazers, Miller declares in his own imperfect and misunderstood way that he'd like to "stay put" in Portland.

But even though he's doing all of these things that we're not necessarily used to seeing him do, he has managed to retain the one trait that is most important to the Trail Blazers: the ability to make his teammates better. It's that part of Andre Miller that stood out Monday night against the Bulls, even on a night that saw LaMarcus Aldridge put up yet another career-high and Brandon Roy declare that he would soon return to the Portland lineup.

“Andre’s been playing like this since coming here," said head coach Nate McMillan. "It seems like as it gets deeper into the season, he gets conditioning, he starts to just play good basketball. We wanted to post Rose and make him work. The game plan was to go through LaMarcus, go through Miller, and make Rose work defensively. I thought he did a good job.”

Good probably doesn't go far enough. 27 points, 13-13 from the free throw line, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and a block (just his fifth of the season) while going up against one of the best players in the game in Derrick Rose is remarkable for any player, even one who Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau called "one of the best point guards in the league."

Miller being one of the best points in the NBA, especially on Monday night, has helped LaMarcus Aldridge become one of the best power forwards in the NBA. On this night, Miller helped Aldridge set his new career-high of 42 points by assisting on 7 of Aldridge's 15 made field goals. And many of the 14 free throw attempts Aldridge was awarded were direct results of Miller putting the ball in Aldridge's hands at right time.

“’Dre, he’s just a great decision maker," said Aldridge. "He was making his shot, he was giving me passes that were easy shots for me to make. So I think ‘Dre made it happen for us tonight.”

According to Miller, his ability to "make it happen" Monday night was a result of being methodical, which is a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially when going up against one of the fastest players in the league.

"We put the game in kind of slow motion for us," said Miller. "We didn't hurry it up. That's one of the better defensive teams as far as rebounding and defensive field goal percentage, so we found ways to mix up getting to the basket, transition and three-point game. We didn't have to do that too much. When you're able to get to the free throw line 40 times, it helps."

It also helps when Dre has your back.

11 Comments

  1. Great post Case. LA, deservingly so, will get the publicity, but we don't get the W tonight without Andre's timely hoops and assists. He ran the pick and roll perfectly tonight.

    by DHawes22 on 2/8/2011 12:41 AM

  2. Thank you for the blog Casey:

    Dre has always been solid, I don't know why he needs to be traded just because he is getting old. He is still playing great BB.

    Hg

    by Hg on 2/8/2011 1:12 AM
  3. Great blog. Dre doesn't get enough respect. The guy is the reason the Blazers are still in the running. Aldridge has carried this team, but Miller has certainly helped Aldridge become the player he is. Without Miller, we don't have a productive Aldridge. I hope he does re-sign and we give him that extension. He deserves it, and we certainly will regret it if we get rid of him.

    by Herr on 2/8/2011 3:00 AM
  4. Man I just hope people can remember this feeling and start giving this guy a hand when he heads to the bench. Even when his shooting percentage is down i don't feel like he is hurting the team offensively, in fact it feels like he puts up shots while taking the responsibility that comes with them. The responsibility that maybe some other guys are not ready for. Absolutely a no trade for this year and i would hope a no trade for next year as well. If nothing else how does it make you feel when he hits a super clutch shot on an away floor that just silences the crowd then he just dre shuffles down court with no change in expression, its just too cool!

    by Lapinnoir on 2/8/2011 3:09 AM
  5. Dre is using the Blazer slogan 'Make it better' in so many ways, both on the court and off. For those who think he should be traded, ask yourself this; where would the team, LA's improved play, and clutch shooting be without him?

    by blazerdarren77 on 2/8/2011 6:42 AM
  6. Great read Casey....perfectly stated in every way. I was a fan from the moment he stepped on Portland soil and will continue to be. Andre has done so much more than just what we see on the court. The intangibles a lot of times are my favorite part of the sport. Dealing with the obstacles with only the way Dre knows how to he and Nate's "lets get to know each other and respect" meeting he has continued to make those around him better. My true hope as a fan is that I will see he and Greg on the floor next season. Andre cares...it is so obvious to me...he wants to be here...I as a fan want him here. It doesn't get any greasier than that.

    by debra31098 on 2/8/2011 10:39 AM
  7. Great blog! Agree Dre is playing great and he makes everyone else better as well. I really hope Cho DOES NOT trade him! We need him and his experiance!

    by RedRudy5 on 2/8/2011 2:02 PM
  8. Andre Miller is one amazing guy. With his heart and hustle, his defense and tenacity, he makes the blazers, who the blazers are today. Not to many people can do what he has done, being in this league this long is a feet in its own. To do them as well as Andre Miller, is on the other hand, amazing. I hope that he Retires here. He deserves to stay where he is and teach whoever it is that is going to back him up. This, in my opinion, is one of the few things this team is missing(other than a great Center). A constant, back-up star point guard. A kid with an all star raw talent and fearlessness. I hope that we do something to fill this gap if not soon, this summer.. Thanks for the read Casey and Praise Andre for me some more

    by charlesd2 on 2/8/2011 5:22 PM
  9. your Just Casey collage is different. nice unicorn casey 8) haha

    by Cristi on 2/8/2011 10:04 PM
  10. Andre Miller had a great game, but I think you're giving him too much credit for with LaMarcusAldridge has been doing. I've read a few articles saying that LA worked his butt off over the summer. I think LA and the coaching staff deserve more credit for LA's improvement.

    by tominhawaii on 2/10/2011 1:51 AM
  11. Andre is the Man!!! He and Nate have been so steadfast it's almost scary. It's funny to recall how many lengthy negative rants we've read about the two of them in the recent past only to now realize they (and Camby) are the real adults on this team. We owe them a bunch! Roy needs to learn to play with Andre not the other way around. And when he does, the Blazers are gonna be awesome!

    by teradasan on 2/11/2011 7:19 PM
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