Philadunkia nation, that’s not a misprint. Former 76ers point man Andre Miller lit up the Dallas Mavericks for 52 points last night and led the Portland Trailblazers to a 114-112 win in Dallas. Miller who missed his first shot of the night was 22 of 31 from the floor and 7 out of 8 from the charity stripe. Nearly half (25 points) of Miller’s scoring out-burst came during the fourth quarter and overtime periods. ‘Dre scored the Blazers last nine points in regulation including the game tying bucket, a floating hook shot, with 14 ticks left.
As we all remember, 76ers GM Ed Stefanski decided against resigning Miller in July 2009 and cited the fact that he didn’t want to commit the years and money Miller was looking for on a soon to be 33-year old point guard. Stefanski also noted that the organization felt it was time to give Sixer combo-guard Louis Williams a chance to start for the team at the point. The Blazers gave Miller a 3-year, $21 million deal in which the first two years are guaranteed. For Portland that was money well spent as Miller is averaging 13 points and 5 dimes a night and has been key in directing a team filled with young talent.
Just for comparisons sake, here’s a few notes on how the Sixers point men who replaced Miller have been doing lately.
We’ll start with the rookie Jrue Holiday, because he is the Sixers current starting point man and it appears he actually may have a future here in Philly. Holiday who for some unknown reason is only seeing 17 minutes of tick a night and can not get on the court for the 4th quarter, is averaging 5 & 2 a game. If you add up Holiday’s point totals from his last ten games, you would arrive at 53 points. Which is one more point then Miller scored last night. Holiday has shown flashes of brilliance and is a much better defender then Miller, but he’s been inconsistent on the offensive end and is certainly no replacement for Miller as the Sixers starting point man. It would have been smart if the Sixers could have kept Miller and then let the rookie Holiday serve as his backup in order to learn the NBA game from a great League veteran. This wise move would be very much like what the Denver Nuggets have done with Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson.
Now for a look at Louis Williams, the man Stefanski crowned back in July as the heir apparent to Miller at the point guard spot. Louis is averaging 14.5 & 4 per game, but has been exposed as a defensive liability. To be honest he’s one of the worst perimeter defenders we’ve seen in a long time. Additionally, after coming out of the gates like gang-busters (including 31 points, 5 assists & 6 steals vs. Memphis back in November), Louis has not been the same player since returning from his broken jaw in mid-December. The signing of Allen Iverson didn’t exactly help Louis as A.I. is taking some of Louis’ minutes, but we still feel Louis’ game has regressed. The Sixers felt Louis’ play fell off so drastically in January that he recently lost his starting spot to Holiday. Against the Lakers this past Friday night he hauled a season low nine minutes of run. If you added up Louis’ point totals from his last five games, you would get 52 points. Which as we all know is the same number Miller hit for last night. Lastly, the man who was handed the 76ers starting point position back in training camp is now the subject of numerous trade rumors circulating around the NBA. from starter to trade bait in just four months, ow that’s a fall from grace.
We said it back in July, we’ll say it again now and just to prove we are not crazy, ESPN analyst Tim Legler confirmed it for us in a recent interview — the Sixers should have resigned Andre Miller.