Mike Miller Interview
The Memphis Grizzlies are 41-29 this season and barring a major collapse should make the playoffs. Swingman Mike Miller comes off the bench to contribute 13.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists on fantastic shooting in 30.8 minutes per game. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner recently met with Miller in Madison Square Garden for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: So I'm talking to a possible sixth man of the year, right? Is that on your mind at all?
Mike Miller: You know, it would be nice, but right now I'm concentrating on seeding ourselves for the playoffs, and that's our whole focus right now, and we're just going to continue to do that.
InsideHoops.com: What would you say the highs and lows have been for the team this season?
Mike Miller: You're always going to have highs and lows. That's what every team goes through. It's 82 games... There are going to be highs and lows, and it's a matter of the way you go through both of them. Can't ever get too high, can't ever get too low. Gotta stay in that medium, and try to progress as players on this team.
InsideHoops.com: And when you guys are rolling, and everything is clicking, why do you think it's happening? What makes the difference?
Mike Miller: When we get out and run in transition. Whenever we're really playing well, we're putting up points. Our defense has been there all year. We're playing really well when we get out there and score. If we get in the 90's, high 90's and 100's, we're a tough team to beat just because we play good enough defense. It's our whole key, stop people, get out and run and get easy baskets.
InsideHoops.com: Talk about Pau Gasol this season. He's taken his game to another level, I think.
Mike Miller: He has. He's always been a great basketball player, but he's doing little things this year that have really elevated his game.
InsideHoops.com: What little things?
Mike Miller: Well, he's rebounding better. He's stronger around the hoop. He's taken more of a leadership responsibility. He's a guy that already had the talent, skilled 7-footer that can shoot it, that can put it on the floor. Just a great basketball player. He's getting better every year, which is the most important thing.
InsideHoops.com: When Damon Stoudamire went down, how did that change things and what kind of adjustments did everyone have to make?
Mike Miller: It always changes; when your starting point guard goes down it's going to be a big hit to your team. We rallied the troops, and we struggled for a little bit, got it back together, went and signed Chucky Atkins, who's really helped. It's one of those things. You're always going to have injuries. Every team goes through them. It's how you react to them and overcome them, and I think we've done a pretty good job.
InsideHoops.com: If you had an MVP vote, and don't worry about voting for Gasol or anyone on your team, but anyone else in the league, who do you pick?
Mike Miller: I think you have to give it to Steve Nash again. Just for what he's done with the team. He's a really good basketball player. There's a lot of them that are really good: Kobe is pretty dang good. There's a lot of them that are deserving. But I'd probably give it to Steve Nash, maybe.
InsideHoops.com: It seems like everyone who goes to that team gets better.
Mike Miller: Yeah. That's his doing. It's always the point guard. The point guard makes players better. He does a great job of that.
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