Darius Miller was the Pelicans second round pick in the 2012 draft, the same draft where we took Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. Miller last season was terribly inefficient posting a Per of 6! turnover rate of 17% and simply shot poorly from everywhere apart from beyond the ark but only attempted one a game. Although Miller’s second season started off poorly, missing the first 14 games due to a stress fracture and then struggling to break the rotation until late in the year where due to injuries he saw a large increase i playing time.
45 Games Played (7 Starts)
16.1 Mpg 4.4 ppg 1.0 apg 1.2 rpg 0.5 spg
Season Averages PER 36:
10 ppg 2.6 rpg 2.1 apg 1.2 spg 0.4 bpg
The good for Darius Miller is simply how good he played on the defensive end especially towards the end of the season. Showing versatility by Guarding Chris Paul and Kevin Durant and holding them to poor nights (well poor for them). Miller was an outstanding Isolation defender ranked 41st by Synergy Sports limiting the opposition to 0.66 points per Isolation. Also the Pelicans concede 5.6 less points per 100 possesions wit Darius on the floor.
How poor he shot from Three this season, shooting on %32.5 from beyond the arc. Well saying that Darius was supposed to be a spot up shotter and shooter almost .400 from beyond the arc in his first season this was a significant drop off for him. This was mainly how poorly he shot from Spot up 3’s (shooting 14 0f 53) 26.4%.
His non existent rebounding. Darius Miller was DEAD LAST (to no suprise honestly) in rebounding rate for Small forwards this year. This could be improved by simply hustling for the ball more but it seems like he’s more than willingly happy to “Cherry Pick” and run the break but not seeming to care for rebounds. This number did drop from his Rookie year and i feel like it could easily go up next year if focused on by coaches in the off-season. It would need him to review tape with coaches and help him for a short while on some core fundamentals.
Well with the year coming to a close and Miller literally playing for his contract he seemed to step up almost averaging 10 points a game in his last 7 games (he started them all). Shown some terrific promise on the defensive end and shown a sweet stroke from the outside. Although his spot up was terrible Miller coming off screens was highly efficient shooting 53% and averaging 1.25 points per possession. Also key to note his transition game was good and the transition 3 seemed to be the only 3 he shot well shooting 56% from 3 and 66% FG.
Hopefully Miller gets too stay, work on his shot again this off-season and his rebounding, but there is no denying how talented he is defensively and shown potential to be an elite defender off the bench. This would obviously help the pelicans out and with some offence could be an extremely valuable role player next year if re signed. My only worry is if other teams like him or teams abroad like him they would probably offer more but would his Kentucky Team mate and close friend Davis be enough to keep him?