What Andre Miller provides for the Timberwolves


I drive a 2005 Pontiac Grand-Am.

It isn’t the best car, nor is it the worst car. It squeaks when I touch the breaks and the engine is a little loud, but it gets me from Point A to Point B, so I’m content. When a hot-red Mustang drives by revving its engine the only thing I think is: “my car gets me to the same destination point in nearly the same time, but I paid a fortune less.”

Andre Miller is old, his knees might be rusty, and he isn’t exactly flashy, but the Minnesota Timberwolves paid a fortune less (in the form of a $947,276 contract) than opposing teams to get a capable player to come off the bench and produce.

While we are all crossing our fingers and hoping that Ricky Rubio can stay healthy for the upcoming season, facts are facts, and Ricky hasn’t proved to anyone that he can consistently remain healthy. Miller won’t have the same effect as Rubio starting for the Minnesota Timberwolves, of course, but he should be able to assist in putting a watchable product on the floor.

This could be Andre Miller’s last year in the NBA. His 4.4 points per game and 3.5 assists per game during the 2014-15 season aren’t sexy and it won’t impress many people, but he produced those numbers in only 15 minutes of action per game. Also, he just so happens to be the steady veteran player that the Wolves’ bench needs.

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The combination of Tyus Jones, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelica and Gorgui Dieng coming off the bench doesn’t provide much experience — Gorgui, a two-year veteran, has the most NBA experience in that group. Do you really expect him to be the “leader” of a bench unit?

Jones isn’t yet ready to run the second-unit of an NBA team. He might be as the season progresses, but in Game One in Los Angeles? He isn’t ready for that. Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad are also very young players that will need some direction– something Miller can certainly provide.

Andre Miller isn’t going to lite it up from the three-point line. He’s a larger player who uses his size to post-up and score easy points. As seen below, Miller attempted 167 shots in the restricted area last year. That’s a lot for a player only playing 15 minutes per game– he’s a crafty player.

Andre is an elite passer and Zach LaVine could benefit the most from his presence. LaVine can jump sky-high and can run the floor, which should lead to easy baskets. It sounds clichè, but Miller can put Zach in a position to succeed.

The Andre-to-Zach connection will be seen a lot during the 2015-16 season.

I mean, look at that.

Defensively, Miller isn’t the best because he’s a slower moving player, but he is a backup point guard going against other backup point guards so he doesn’t have to worry about defending elite players.

And if Andre Miller breaks down in Minnesota, they didn’t lose much. It’s a one-year deal worth less than $1 million. Don’t be surprised, either, if Flip Saunders trades Andre Miller to the Sacramento Kings and gets a first-round pick in return (sarcasm, I think). George Karl has a serious man-crush on Miller, and…it’s the Kings.

The Wolves don’t necessarily need a backup point guard to come in and provide a huge spark because that’s what Shabazz, LaVine, and Bjelica are for. They just need someone to hold the welding gun and guide the spark. That’s what Andre can provide.

Andre Miller isn’t Jamal Crawford. He isn’t Lou Williams. But he is plenty capable of giving the Timberwolves’ bench enough to get them to their appropriate destination.

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