The Case for Andre Miller

Reports are coming out that Denver is actively seeking to trade Andre Miller due to growing tensions between the veteran point guard and new head coach Brian Shaw.

IMO, Dre demonstrated himself as one of the most durable, reliable and heady floor generals the Blazers have had in recent memory.

Still, some argue that his poor outside shooting (21% 3P) and "bad" attitude are too worrisome to overlook.

Firstly, it's true Dre sucks at shooting 3's; that's why he rarely does it. His last season with the blazers he averaged .5 3PA per game. this season? a massive 1.1. Dre realizes he can't shoot 3's and rarely does.

Even so, we DO have a PG who can shoot threes(Mo William's 3P% is at a scorching 36.4%). Let's look at some numbers.

Over the past 5 seasons, Dre has averaged an Offensive Rating of 110 scoring 111 or higher in 4/5 seasons.

Mo Williams over that same time span? 104.6. Out of respect for Mo I'll refrain from calculating his ORTGWOLB (offensive rating without LeBron).

Both of them are poor defenders, with Dre's average DRTG over the past 5 seasons equaling 108.4 while Mo's is 109.8. In addition, Dre has had a higher PER 4 of the past 5 seasons, the lone exception coming in 2011-2012 when Mo edged Dre's PER by 0.2.

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive statistical analysis but rather a factually supported assertion that Mo William's statistical production is worse than Andre Miller's and has been for some time.

Next, many have argued that Dre is uncoachable or disagreeable. I find these claims to be exaggerated.

Critics often recall the brouhaha in January 2010 between McMillan and Miller. Jason Quick writes:

A season of frustration for Andre Miller came to a head Thursday when Trail Blazers practice ended after the veteran point guard had a heated, 30-minute exchange with coach Nate McMillan.

The "argument" he had with Nate resulted from Blake starting over Dre despite the fact that Dre > blake, at least according to Quick:

The exchange culminates Miller's simmering discontent that has been evident since the end of training camp when Steve Blake was awarded the starting point guard position even though Miller outplayed him

Dre probably realizes he's a bench player at this point in his career, especially with how key Dame is to this team's offense. If Olshey told him straight up what his role would be maybe Dre wouldn't feel lied to:

Although he never made a scene about his frustrations, Miller brooded for much of the early season and periodically took veiled shots at McMillan and management, insinuating he was lied to when the team courted him this summer in free agency.

Things have changed significantly since McMillan was fired. Stotts himself has described the team's playing style as loose and open; players are free (required even) to make reads on the fly and follow their instincts, something I think Dre would embrace after being frustrated by Sarge:

[dre] mildly complained about the team's "methodical" playing style, and more than hinted that McMillan is a "controlling" coach that stifles free play.

So why wouldn't Dre work here? I can't be the only one who misses the spin lobs, the fake timeouts, and the consummate professionalism Dre brought to the basketball court.

To quote the Beach Boys, wouldn't it be nice to have someone to throw game-winning lobs?

P.S. The Blazers went 28-17 after the "argument" and made the playoffs both years Dre was here.

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