Three months later, he’s still in one piece, his limbs attached to all the right places. For the first time with the Miami Heat, Mike Miller might actually start a regular season in uniform.
After considering retirement during the NBA Finals and then contemplating back surgery at the completion of the Heat’s championship run, Miller is up and running and looking forward to the Sept. 29 start of training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said Saturday.
Instead of gaining a $2.9 million injury exception for a replacement player, the Heat apparently will have the real thing, with Miller hoping to pick up where he left off, which just happened to be with seven 3-pointers in the Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that gave the Heat their second championship.
– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
So, just how good can this team be on the defensive end?
“I think the sky’s the limit,” Brewer said on Friday night.
After struggling to get stops for much of the Mike D’Antoni era, New York made a significant improvement on defense last year.
With Chandler in the middle, the Knicks finished fifth in the league defensive efficiency (a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions), up from 21st in 2010-11. Chandler was named Defensive Player of the Year and Shumpert established himself as one of the top young perimeter defenders in the league.
Brewer believes that the addition of himself and Camby, among others, can make the Knicks even more stingy this year.
“I think with those ingredients, we’re going to a very dangerous,” he said.
– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York
New Timberwolves Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved today finish up the four-day Basketball Without Borders camp they are working in Moscow with Wolves player development coach David Adelman and fellow NBA players Timofey Mozgov, MarShon Brooks, Danny Green and Brian Cardinal.
Next stop: Target Center.
Kirilenko plans to arrive in about 10 days for training camp that begins in Mankato on Oct. 2.
Until then, he will spend these final days of summer at home in Russia, where he, Shved and their national team teammates brought home the Olympic bronze medal last month.
That performance sent them to the Kremlin and a visit with Russian president Vladimir Putin that delayed Kirilenko’s introductory Target Center news conference until he arrives here the last week of September for camp.
He has spent these last four days in what he calls “giving back” to the game that already has given him a 10-year NBA career and now leads him to Minnesota and a two-year, $20 million contract and to his home country where basketball now has produced its first Olympic medal in the sport since the Soviet Union’s breakup and this season is sending countryman Shved to the NBA as well.
– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune