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Tag:Andre Miller
Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Bobcats talking to Blazers about Miller, Camby?

Posted by Royce Young

It's pretty clear that Michael Jordan is making some phone calls right now. On the heels of reports that Charlotte is interesting in trading for Baron Davis, there's another rumor via FanHouse that Jordan has discussed a trade with Portland sending Gerald Wallace, DeSagana Diop and D.J. Augustin to the Blazers for Andre Miller and Marcus Camby.

The Davis trade had a strong smell of desperation to it, but the possible deal with Portland makes a bit more sense. The Bobcats give up a lot more, but they don't jeopardize any long-term financial flexibility with the deal. Camby's contract is up after this season and Miller has a team option on his contract next season.

Obviously Jordan is interested in acquiring a more play-making oriented point guard. The Bobcats lost that when Raymond Felton went to New York over the summer. Most felt like Augustin might be able to handle that responsibility, but it hasn't worked out well. Plus, who knew the Bobcats would also miss the inside presence of Tyson Chandler. Camby would certainly be a solid addition in that sense.

But the Bobcats would lose a core piece in Wallace to get two veteran players. Much like the Davis deal, it's a bit of a now-or-never move, but the good news to this one is that it doesn't put a bunch of cash on the books for the next few years. Giving away Wallace hurts but if the Bobcats are considering a blow-up of the roster, this deal makes a lot more sense than the one with the Clippers. There's a chance the team could win with Miller and Camby (especially in the weak bottom half of the East), plus the Bobcats open up a number of new roster options with the new financial flexibilty.

The Blazers would certainly be interested in this deal as Brandon Roy has publicly voiced some issues he has playing with Miller in the backcourt. Plus there are reports Roy has even asked for either he or Miller to be moved because he doesn't feel they can co-exist in Portland's backcourt. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last week that Portland is considering going young and trading Camby and Miller. Maybe this is a suitable deal for Rich Cho and company.

Wallace was an All-Star last season and one of the premier small forward defenders in the league. While he's a really good player, he's also under contract through 2012 with a player option in 2013 at around $9.5 million a year. Not a massive financial committment, but depending on where Portland is at, it's something long-term.

Portland isn't extremely strong at small forward with Nicolas Batum, but I'm not sure Wallace is that big of an upgrade. Batum has shown flashes of being a good scorer in addition to a premier defender. So what's better to do, cut into Batum's minutes but get Gerald Wallace or go with Batum as the future at small forward?

Just another rumored deal that probably isn't that close to getting anywhere near done, but it's clear that Jordan is on the move with his roster. And Portland makes a good candidate to play with.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:20 pm
 

Andre Miller calls NBA "soft" for suspension

Portland Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller calls the NBA "soft" after he received a one-game suspension earlier this week. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier this week, we noted that Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller was suspended for one game by the NBA for a huge hit he put on Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Sunday night.  Miller, taking exception to two shoves in the back from Griffin in rebounding scrums, charged full court in transition to blindside Griffin with a shoulder check, sending the Rookie of the Year candidate hurling to the ground. Incredibly, Miller wasn't issued a foul in the game, as the referees didn't see the incident, but upon review was suspended for one game without pay by the league office for the hit. Unfortunately for Miller, the ruling came with a greater consequence than the fine and missing Portland's Tuesday night win over the Phoenix Suns. Miller's league-leading 632 consecutive games played streak was ended by the suspension. Asked for his comments on the suspension at Blazers practice on Wednesday, the Columbian reports that Miller didn't mince words. 
"It just shows you how soft the league has gotten, protecting young players. It's not like it was when I came in this league .... It wasn't justified at all. If I was a dirty player that was looking to go out and hurt someone then I can understand 'OK, this guy has a reputation.' Back in the day, like John Stockton, tough minded player, some people thought he was dirty, he never got suspended for anything. The league has changed, they favor the young guys now and that's just how I feel."
Miller also sounds disappointed to see his streak go. " "It means a lot," Miller told the paper. "Obviously it doesn't mean anything to the league. I take pride in it. I did what I did." Here's video of Miller's hit on Griffin one more time, in case you missed it. There's nothing "soft" about it.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:31 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:17 pm
 

NBA suspends Brian Cook, Andre Miller

The NBA announced in a press release that it has suspended Los Angeles Clippers center Brian Cook and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller for rough play on Sunday night. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier today, we discussed the rough play between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers in the Rose Garden on Sunday night. After reviewing the tape, the NBA has issued suspensions to two players: Los Angeles Clippers center Brian Cook, who was assessed a flagrant foul 2 for a hit on Blazers center Joel Przybilla, and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller, who rammed into Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Here's the release from the league.
NEW YORK, December 6, 2010 - Brian Cook of the Los Angeles Clippers has been suspended two games without pay for his Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two against Joel Przybilla of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Andre Miller of the Trail Blazers has been suspended one game without pay for making excessive and unnecessary contact with Blake Griffin of the Clippers, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations. Upon postgame video review by the league office, Miller was assessed a Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two for his actions.
The incident involving Cook occurred with 4.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter of Portland's 100-91 win over the Clippers on Sunday, December 5 at Rose Garden. The incident involving Miller occurred with 7:06 remaining in the fourth quarter of the same game. Cook  will  begin serving his suspension tonight when the Clippers host the Sacramento  Kings  at  Staples Center.  Miller will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns at Rose Garden.    
The suspension will end Miller's consecutive games played streak, which had been the longest in the league, at 632 games. Incredibly, Miller had not missed a game since the 2002-2003 season. San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen found himself in a similar situation back in 2008 . With Miller's streak concluding, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher will take over the title of longest consecutive games played streak, with 433 straight games. It's also tough news for the Blazers, as they face the Phoenix Suns and premier point guard Steve Nash Tuesday night, when Miller is set to serve his suspension. Second-year point guard Patty Mills is next up on the depth chart and is likely to get the start. In case you missed it, here's the video of Cook's foul on Przybilla.  It's surprising that Cook received a two-game suspension, because Washington Wizards forward Hilton Armstrong received a one-game suspension just last week for a very similar play. Here's video of Andre Miller bowling over Blake Griffin, courtesy of Brandon Mitchell . Amazingly, Miller was not whistled for a foul on this play.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:36 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:49 pm
 

Brandon Roy versus the world won't work

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy has called for the ball, but is that a winning strategy?
Posted by Ben Golliver

Four games into the preseason, after a summer that didn’t see much roster turnover, the Portland Trail Blazers look and sound like a team still trying to find an identity, a team struggling to get on the same page.

Coach Nate McMillan has preached defense throughout training camp, and the troops, minus new addition Wesley Matthews, by and large haven’t responded. After holding a short-handed Los Angeles Clippers team (no Eric Gordon, no Baron Davis) to 86 points in their preseason opener, the Blazers have gotten clocked by division rivals Utah and Denver in three consecutive games. Add it up, and the slow-down, injury-depleted Blazers, are giving up 101 points per game during the preseason.

Throughout his young career, whenever Portland has hit a tough patch, all star guard Brandon Roy has responded by placing more responsibility on his own shoulders and, by extension, calling for more touches. After a flat performance on Monday night and a day off to think about things, Roy told reporters Wednesday that the motion offense the Blazers have been running during the preseason was going to give way to Portland’s usual isolation-heavy sets in the near future.  Along with that change was Roy’s desire to initiate more offense himself and he made that fact clear, declaring, “I want the basketball a lot more.”  Roy already sees a lot of touches, and Portland gives him the keys to the car down the stretch, so this comment earned Roy a fair bit of criticism in Portland over the last 24 hours.

Last year, Roy was 16th in the NBA in usage rate, trailing fellow guards Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas, Kobe Bryant, Richard Hamilton, Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings. Surveying the names on that list, you get a better idea of where Roy is coming from. If you go back two seasons, Roy was 11th in the NBA in usage rate, and the only guards ahead of him were Wade, Bryant, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Will Bynum and Devin Harris.

So while going from 11th to 16th in the league seems like a modest drop, it’s one that Roy himself has felt mostly because of the quality of those touches. Indeed, he made specific reference yesterday to returning to the team’s offensive style from 2008-2009, when the Blazers were near the top of the league’s offensive efficiency charts . So what needs to happen for that return to take place?

The most obvious variable here is point guard Andre Miller, who was signed as a free agent during the summer of 2009. While a lot has been made about Miller’s own need for the ball in his hands to be effective, a more critical factor is his inability to space the floor effectively when he plays alongside Roy. Miller has never been a three-point threat, and last year he attempted just 80 threes, hitting at a paltry 20% clip . This allowed opposing defenses to cheat off of him with Tiger Woods regularity, clogging the top of the key, Roy’s favorite spot on the floor, and closing down driving lanes. This, coupled with hamstring and knee issues, led to declines in clean looks, shooting percentage and overall offensive efficiency. It should come as no surprise that Roy might desire a return to the pre-Miller days, when a standstill shooter in Steve Blake made defenses pay.

How will this situation resolve? Last season, McMillan showed a willingness to experiment with fourth-quarter lineups that didn’t include Miller. Matthews’ defensive versatility – he can legitimately guard three positions – and his spot-up shooting make him an ideal late-game backcourt partner for Roy. Throw in Nicolas Batum, who is also a versatile perimeter defender and solid outside shooter, and the Blazers would have a big, long, athletic perimeter trio to help compensate for having an emergency room full of centers on their inactive list.

The spotlight is now shining on Miller to prove his worth to the Blazers once again. Trade rumors continue to surround him, as they seemingly have since he signed in Portland. Now in the final guaranteed year of his contract, Miller is one of the few Blazers that would seem to have a greater external value than internal value. How much more would he mean to a young team needing leadership from a steady, reliable veteran point guard than to the Blazers, where he is, at best, a square peg fighting for room in a round hole that’s nearly entirely filled by Brandon Roy?

As for Roy's call for the ball, it is both admirable and short-sighted. In times of distress, and these Blazers know distress intimately, responsibility and accountability are gold qualities. But leaning heavily on Roy and isolating him on a regular basis hasn’t proven to be a winning strategy, in the playoffs or with regard to Roy’s health. The first-round exits and injuries have mounted up.

If we’ve learned anything in the NBA over the past six months, it’s the power of economies of roster scale. The more good players that play together well, the more likely it is that great play will result and the easier it is to succeed despite injuries. Ultimately, Roy is correct to look to himself for improvement first, but he must remember that he cannot dethrone the Lakers or Heat singlehandedly. No one can. To accomplish his goals for the team, which include playoff success and potentially more, Roy still needs to learn to trust someone. That someone doesn’t have to be Miller. But it needs to be someone.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 9:04 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 10:06 am
 

Preseason Primer: Portland Trail Blazers

Portland loathes expectations. Expected to compete for the West title? Down in a burning wreckage of knee bones and perimeter shooting. Unable to hold on to the playoffs? Say hi to a massive winning streak to glide into the playoffs. They are never predictable, that's for certain. As we continue our Preseason Primers , we take a look at the noble hope of the Northwest, and if this is finally the season when things don't go wrong for the Blazers.

Portland Trailblazers

Training camp site: Portland, OR

Training camp starts:   Sept. 28 

Key additions:  Wesley  Matthews (free agent)

Key subtractions:   Juwan Howard (free agent), Martell Webster (trade), Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson (free agent)

Likely starting lineup: Andre Miller, PG; Brandon Roy, SG; Nicolas Batum, SF, LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Marcus Camby, C 

Player to watch:   Greg Oden. Guy's gotta get healthy sometime, right? Oden has been and remains the missing piece of the puzzle for the Blazers, even with the addition of Marcus Camby. If Oden can reach a significant portion of his massive untapped potential, he could be a difference maker for the Blazers, completing the team that's been constructed over the past five years. It's unknown if Oden will even be available for camp, or how much he'll be participating. But even that says something. Oden's got to bounce back hard, and get back to where he showed flashes last year prior to the injury. That's the only way the Blazers can make the jump they need to this year. 

Chemistry quiz:   Who's the ticking time bomb? That's the question, and it's multiple choice, with several "A and B and C" type choices. Last year, Andre Miller and Nat McMillan blew up at one another during a low point. The two reconciled things and seem to be on better ground, but there's been consistent trade chatter involving Miller since he was signed as a marquee free agent in 2009. And that's just the start! Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, two longtime Blazers were traded last year, along with Martell Webster before this year's draft. And, oh, yeah, Rudy Fernandez is involved in a messy, gross situation where he's demanding a trade and talking about sitting out the next season , even after rejecting a trade to New Orleans. This is all before we get into LaMarcus Aldridge's longterm problems with the club, and the attention showered on Greg Oden constantly. That said, McMillan has done a tremendous job keeping the team together and helped lead them to the playoffs last year. If he can keep them together this year, it'll be another award-worthy performance.

Injury watch:   Ha. Ha ha ha. Hahahahahaha. Sorry. That's mean.

Well, let's see. Brandon Roy struggled with an ankle towards the end of last year, but that should be fine. Greg Oden is recovering from a broken patella, slowly. Joel Przybilla also broke his patella and tore ligaments, then reinjued it in the shower. Marcus Camby is no spring chicken. This team is one bad turn, a helicopter and a few tents from becoming a M*A*S*H* unit. If any team is worthy of karmic bonuses resulting in a clean bill of health this year, it's Portland.

Camp battles:   Center's going to be a big one throughout the year, but with Oden not near 100% by any stretch of the imagination, Camby has it on lockdown. Nicolas Batum continues to be one of the better developing small forwards in the league, and his overall play should keep him locked in above the rookie Babbitt. An interesting one? Point guard. Miller was terrific at points last year for the Blazers, but when he wasn't, Jerryd Bayless was increasingly better. Bayless is a fierce competitor. If he were to make a significant jump, that one could get ugly really quick.

Biggest strength:   Depth and Brandon Roy. That's the formula, which is why the injuries const them so much last year. Additionally, Brandon Roy's going to have to climb back out of the pool and onto the pavement of great players after a downturn last season. The Blazers absolutely must have Roy as a top ten player in the league if they're going to compete for the Western Conference Finals, along with all the other things they need to happen. But Roy has shown he can do it, and they still have considerable depth, arguably more, with Matthews to give Roy a breather, and young talent mixed in with the vets.

Glaring weakness:   You mean, besides spending more times on their backs than Luke Walton? (You thought I was going for a sex joke there, didn't you?) The team's gotta stay healthy, which isn't something they can avoid, outside of moving to Phoenix and hiring their training staff. On the floor, the offense can stagnate considerably when Roy's not on the floor outside of the handful of nights where Miller goes nova. The other players need to develop into go-to scorers, at least a few. LaMarcus Aldridge in particular has had low expectations which he's exceeded yet not received credit for the last few years, but now he's going to have to be a big-time power forward for the Blazers. If he doesn't show he can get to the next level, he may find himself on the block as the Blazers look for the missing piece.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com