In appreciation of Andre Miller's passing

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Andre Miller is slow, can't shoot and is one of the oldest players in the league. But he remains effective because he's so damn good at passing. This is our appreciation of Professor Miller.

Andre Miller is 37 years old and entering his 15th season in the NBA, but his ability to pass the ball with precision makes him timeless. His assist numbers are solid, but not gaudy. The same can't be said for the actual passes.

Take, for instance, his famed full-court dishes. Many players attempt Hail Mary passes, but few players succeed. Miller is poised like a quarterback in the pocket looking downfield for his target and is surprisingly accurate once he puts the ball in the air. Here, Miller launches the pass once he recovers possession, leading Danilo Gallinari toward the rim:

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Gallinari catches Miller's pass in stride and over his shoulder, giving him a clear path to dunk in transition:

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Video of the play:


The full-court bombs are fun, but Miller has fantastic court vision and timing on his passes in half-court possessions as well. The dart he hits Andre Iguodala with in the play below is a bullseye. Iguodala cuts behind Meyers Leonard and Miller reads the movement:

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Miller squeezes the pass between four defenders and around Damian Lillard, and Iguodala easily gathers the pass and dunks on the other side of the rim:

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Video of the play:


The only question that remains is: can Andre Miller throw a lob?

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This is like asking if LeBron James can dunk.

Miller often handles the ball almost at half court while surveying the nine players in front of him. This gives him space to pass around his defender, who usually sags off him around the three-point line because of his lack of shooting range, and allows him to wait without a defender in his face blocking his vision. Here, Miller holds for the exact moment Iguodala cuts back to the rim:

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Miller puts the lob in the air and Mike Conley can only watch it sail over his head. Marc Gasol sees the incoming lob and rotates in front of Iguodala, who is timing his jump behind Jerryd Bayless:

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But Miller's timing is precise. The pass zips between the two defenders and into the hands of Iguodala, who dunks the precise lob:

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Video of the play:


In any case, here are over 70 of the 79 lob passes Professor Miller (nod to Zach Lowe) threw during the 2012-2013 season. Enjoy:

***

The league is full of young, athletic point guards who terrorize defenses with their dribble penetration. Andre Miller is old and is probably less athletic than a third of the players at your local YMCA gym, but his ability to get a pass to nearly anywhere, from anywhere, is one of the NBA's treasures, even if it's a little dusty and unorthodox.

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