Questions surrounded Mike Miller after the Miami Heat's Game 1 win over the Dallas Mavericks to open the NBA Finals on Tuesday. Miller appeared to aggravate a shoulder injury late in that game, and wore a sling upon leaving the AmericanAirlines Arena. He and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra repeatedly said that Miller was fine, and that he'd be ready to go for Game 2 Thursday.
Miller did play on Thursday, a total of 15 minutes off the bench as Spoelstra leaned on an eight-man rotation. But unlike in Game 1, Miller was totally ineffective, scoreless on three shots (all three-pointers). He did pick up four defensive rebounds -- he had nine in Game 1 -- but Miami needs him shooting and scoring. He did neither in Game 2.
Whether that can be attributed to the injury or just a back night at the office remains a mystery. But with James Jones saying he's healthy on the bench -- he had a nagging injury that limited him to 24 minutes in the Heat's series against the Chicago Bulls -- you have to wonder if Spoelstra will make a decision to give Miller a shorter leash as the Finals shift to Dallas. If Miller isn't physically right to the point where he'll struggle to make the Mavericks defense pay for doubling on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, he's not of great use on the floor, despite playing solid defense and rebounding.
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