On the one hand, the Heat won 27-straight games with Mike Miller mostly on the bench. On the other, the team won an NBA championship with him on it.
You can see the dilemma.
Mike Miller is playing mop-up-duty minutes here at the end of the season. Let's not kind ourselves of that. But, in doing so, he has made 15 three-pointers in his last three games. On Friday against the Bobcats, Miller drilled seven three-pointers in Miami's 89-79 victory.
So, Miller has forced himself into the conversation. How can you keep such a shooting option on the bench during the playoffs? Who loses minutes to find Miller playing time? These are tough questions Heat coach Erik Spoelstra must figure out in the coming days.
I thought about comparing statistics for this blog post, but what's the point in that? We all know that both Ray Allen and Miller are great shooters and great players. Should Allen cede minutes to Miller in the playoffs like Miller did in the regular season? Something tells me that's not going to happen. I can't envision a scenario where Spoelstra tells Allen he's being relegated to the end of the bench with Jarvis Varnado.
So, what's the answer? All season, Spoelstra has been telling us that Miller has been used sparingly to keep him healthy for the postseason. Well, the postseason is almost here and Spoelstra's plan appears to have worked, whether that was the actual plan or not.
Is there a way to trade Norris Cole's minutes for Miller? That's a move Spoelstra is probably hesitant to make. Perhaps Miller can used in a series-to-series basis. If the Heat wants to go small, perhaps Miller can move into the rotational spot for, say, Chris Andersen? That doesn't seem like a perfect answer either, though. The Heat has only lost three games since Andersen was added to the team.