Miller to dress for Heat for first time
When Mike Miller arrived for work Monday night, the Miami Heat
had a gift waiting in his locker: A jersey.
Miller was in uniform for the first time this season when the
Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks, though coach Erik Spoelstra said
the swingman was not guaranteed of getting minutes. Miller sat out
the first 29 games while recovering from a broken thumb and torn
ligament in his right hand — the one he shoots with.
Spoelstra and Heat president Pat Riley met Monday afternoon to
decide if the time was right to let Miller dress.
”We both decided that he’s ready to suit,” Spoelstra said.
Ordinarily, the Heat prefer to have injured players go through
one full practice before returning to the lineup. Because Miami
won’t have one of those until Wednesday, Miller got the
”It’s very encouraging,” Heat forward LeBron James said. ”Not
only for us, but for him personally. I know he’s been really
excited to try to get back healthy and get back playing with this
team. We’ve been waiting for him.”
For his career, Miller has averaged 13.7 points on 46 percent
shooting, 41 percent shooting from 3-point range. He was second in
the NBA in 3-point shooting last season, making 48 percent, and
signed with Miami this past summer.
Miller likely will be used in short stints for the next few
games, especially since there isn’t a glaring need for help right
now in the Miami rotation. The Heat entered Monday on a 12-game
winning streak, and Miller himself said he might have to sacrifice
some minutes for now to keep things rolling.
”I’d like to play,” Miller said before Spoelstra and Riley
made their decision. ”But I also understand the big picture.”
Miller was hurt Oct. 20 when his hand got tangled in James’
jersey during a drill in practice and had surgery two days later.
He has been shooting for several weeks, has been working on his
conditioning throughout the recovery and was cleared for contact
last week – about a month ahead of the schedule originally
Miller will go through a workout Tuesday, then practice
Wednesday before the team flies to Phoenix for a Thursday game
against the Suns. He’s been clamoring to play since last week and
hoped to make his debut last Friday when the Heat visited the New
”Sometimes as a player you feel ready before everyone else
feels you’re ready. … Mike is ready,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade