Without making shot, Miller makes presence felt

Without making shot, Miller makes presence felt
June 15, 2013, 3:45 pm
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SAN ANTONIO — Earlier in The Finals, Miami's Mike Miller was among the players who mingled around the court during media sessions while others held court behind a podium.

Miller was part of the podium posse on Saturday, yet another indication of his growing influence on The Finals.

He was inserted into the starting lineup by Miami, and the Heat pulled away for a convincing Game 4 win to even up the series.
Although he didn't make a shot, his presence with the first unit gave the Heat a much-needed shot at victory.

"It was about as impactful a zero‑for‑one game as you can have in The Finals," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "And Mike knows what he brings on to the table for us.  So many things on both ends of the court, and each series is different.  It presents its own challenges.  This we feel is the best move for now against the Spurs."

That doesn't necessarily mean Miller will be starting in Sunday's Game 5 matchup.

But considering the decisive nature of Miami's Game 4 win, safe money is on Miller being with the first group again on Sunday.

Miller, whose role has fluctuated throughout the playoffs, said there wasn't a huge adjustment on his part knowing he would be a starter.

"Just being ready a little earlier," Miller said, adding, "I've had to make a lot of adjustments just coming into The Finals. It's been an adjustment time for me, but that's what The Finals are about; just go out there and try to perform."

For Miller, opportunities were few and far between earlier this season, in part because of his health but also because of the guys playing ahead of him.

At 6-foot-8 with a deadly jumper, Miller has the versatility to play small forward as well as some shooting guard.

That means he's playing behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while competing for minutes off the bench with Ray Allen.

"That's three Hall of Famers right there," Miller told CSNNE.com earlier in the series. "You just have to be patient and wait your time."

And as he stands in a corner of the AT&T Center, at a podium with media from all across the globe gathered around,

"Right now, (my) role is to open up the floor," Miller said. "If (I) get shots, be aggressive, shoot with purpose. That's what I try to do."