Andre Miller is one of the most underappreciated point guards in the 2000s. While he rarely shot threes, he more than made up for it with his insane basketball IQ and deep understanding of the game. Just ask Wesley Matthews.
Matthews, now with the Atlanta Hawks, played with Miller with the Portland Trail Blazers. He saw firsthand how the Los Angeles native managed things from an engagement perspective. Here is what Matthews had to say about Miller while impersonating the latter’s high-pitched voice (via Club520 podcast):
“I’m putting Andre Miller up there. He just understands the game.
One time, he was like, ‘Hey Wes, I know you ain’t got the ball in a minute, but we gotta throw the ball to LaMarcus Aldridge. So we gotta throw it to him, but the next time you cut underneath the basket, I’m just gonna throw it. Just be ready.‘
Like, he read the situation. He knew I’m not happy right now. You know how it go. I’m guardian’, I’m doggin’ the best player on there. You know, I gotta touch. He was like, ‘Hey look, I need him to keep doggin’. I need him to stay engaged. Look, we were shooting a lot of threes; we’re jacking the ball up. We need to feed Big Fella; that’s our bread and butter. But after that, look. I’m gonna give you a touch.‘”Wesley Matthews on Andre Miller
When experts mention “intangibles,” that’s an aspect of that right there. No coach can teach those things. Miller carved a successful 17-year career in the NBA by scoring in the mid-range, posting up smaller defenders, and understanding the game’s finer points. That includes the psyche of the guys he’s playing with.
The 47-year-old understood the game so much that when push came to shove, he was doing the latter. In fact, former Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin messed around and found out.