In the buildup to training camp beginning Sept. 27, BSN Denver is profiling the Nuggets roster player by player, reflecting on their performance last year and what they have to prove in training camp, preseason, and throughout the regular season to have a productive 2016-17 campaign.
Mike Miller, 6-foot-8 218 pounds
2015-16 averages: 47 games (2 starts), 7.9 minutes, 1.3 points (35.5 FG%, 36.5 3PT%), 0.9 assists, 1.1 rebounds
Expected role in 2016-2017: Coach on the floor, late-game inbounder
Training camp outlook
Mike Miller is on this roster because he is a respected veteran player who has won multiple championships and seen it all during 16-year professional career. On a team that’s full of young and promising talent, Miller will again serve as a mentor for the Nuggets young core. General manager Tim Connelly and head coach Michael Malone made it to priority this offseason to bring Miller back to Denver and both have said multiple times how much they love the leadership and professionalism that he brings to the Nuggets locker room.
Miller was named Rookie of the Year in 2001 and won Sixth Man of the Year award in 2006. However, the most memorable moment of his career came in a series clinching Game 5 win in the 2012 NBA Finals when he scored 23 points in 23 minutes (thanks to going to 7-8 from downtown) as the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was the first of two championships for Miller during his 3-year tenure with the Heat. He would again appear in the finals in 2015 with Cleveland.
Miller will go down as one of the most accurate 3-point shooters in league history as he currently ranks 21st all-time with a career shooting percentage of 40.7 percent. He also comes in at 20th on the all-time list of 3-pointers made with 1,582 during his 16 (and counting) year career.
The journeyman’s vast experience was called on multiple times late in games last season when Coach Malone would insert Miller into the game to serve as the inbounder during pressure situations. Being able to rely on Miller in those key moments again this season could be huge as the Nuggets will look to contend for a postseason berth in 2016-2017.
In many ways, Miller is a coach on the floor to the younger players and has spoke of his desire to enter the coaching ranks after his playing career is over. A successful season for Miller will be one in which he contributes when called upon as a role-player and helps with the development of Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley. He is in Denver to show the rest of the roster how to conduct themselves on and off the court, and the Nuggets are extremely fortunate to have Miller with them again this season.