Mike Miller is injured.
Miller sustained what appears to be a serious thumb injury on his right hand – his shooting hand – during Wednesday’s practice. He was injured when he got his hand snagged in a teammate’s jersey.
The Miami Heat have not yet announced the findings from an evaluation by a hand specialist yesterday, but the team is bracing itself to be without its best shooter for an extended period.
Although LeBron James has said that he is confident that Miller will play a majority of the regular season, this is no doubt a huge blow to the Heat. Having signed a five-year, $29 million contract with the Heat this past off-season, Miller was supposed to provide critical floor spacing for a trio of superstars in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who work best in space.
Instead, the Heat is left without a single backup shooting guard on the roster — none!
Pat Riley has met with Erik Spoelstra and other team officials about options on dealing with the injury. They appear destined to turn to Jerry Stackhouse for temporary relief. It is the wrong move.
Stackhouse won’t rock the boat, won’t bring drama, and will bring a high caliber of veteran leadership. But let’s be clear — this team does not need more veteran leadership. James, Wade and Bosh provide plenty of that. This team needs depth. It needs players who can play. It needs to identify a player with the type of floor-spacing shooting stroke that it has just lost, packaged in the body of a man who can provide solid backcourt defense.
Stackhouse is not that. He is old. He is working on wonky knees. He is a glaring defensive liability on a team that puts a premium on it. He is a man no longer capable of providing any of the offensive value he once did. And he never had the ability to stroke the long ball; he is a career 30.7% shooter from beyond the three-point line. He provides nothing this team needs.
There is simply no way Stackhouse will be a contributing member of the Miami Heat come playoff time, neither this season nor any other in the future. So why sign him now?
But the Heat does have a glaring need. Even when healthy, the slow-footed 6-foot, 8-inch Miller is more of a small forward than he is a shooting guard capable of defending the perimeter. The Heat desperately needs a quality shooting guard.
A possible solution comes from the unlikeliest of places. The Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dan Gilbert’s team has just done the Miami Heat a huge favor. It has waived second year guard Danny Green. Read more…