#NuggetsRank No. 8: Andre Miller

andre-miller
Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBARank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Coming in at number eight is Andre Miller, a dip from his prior ranking of six going into last season.

The ageless wonder, or terror depending on who you ask, remained his immutable self last year posting the same types of numbers he’s had for the last several years. His usage rate hit a career low and his turnover rate (which did take a favorable dip from last year) was third highest in the league among guards, an outlier in terms of his overall career. But other than that, Miller remains the same old man at the YMCA he’s always been. The guy who can’t shoot and doesn’t play defense, but still infuriates opponents with a large posterior he guilefully uses to devastating effect in the post. Whatever your thoughts are on the other aspects of his game, the way he consistently churns out 10 points and 6 assists a game based solely on how cleverly he establishes position on offense is something to admire.

The problems start when you look elsewhere, at his lackluster defense and the nuisance he becomes without the ball in his hands. Off ball Dre doesn’t space the floor, he rarely ever cuts to the basket to make defenders ignoring him pay, and when he does receive the ball the offense tends to stop flowing, something that becomes a major problem when Ty Lawson is also on the court.

But on a more optimistic note, many of these vices were exaggerated by a coach too blinded by loyalty to see their cost. Brian Shaw holds no such loyalty and with Lawson as the clear best player on the team, Fournier a good option off ball, Robinson a perennial wildcard, and Foye very clearly a two guard only, Miller may finally see his minutes allocated more to times where he’s the primary ball handler, a place where he can do the most damage.

Ultimately it’s hard to envision a scenario where Miller is still on the team by seasons end. Like Karl, this new era for the Nuggets is starting to pass him by and a stockpiled backcourt makes him more of a luxury item than a necessity. On the right team and in the right role he can still be useful, but a solid veteran role player quickly loses his value on a rebuilding team.

#NuggetsRank

15. Anthony Randolph

14. Quincy Miller

13. Timofey Mozgov

12. Jordan Hamilton

11. Randy Foye

10. Darrell Arthur

9. J.J. Hickson

8. Andre Miller

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David Walker

Freshman at FSU. Love the Nuggets, the beach, and the game that involves a ball that occasionally goes into the hoop.
  • Native Nugget

    Appreciate what Andre’s done in a Nuggs uniform, can’t blame him for Karl’s choice to overuse him – what ballplayer in the NBA would turn down minutes. Can blame him for not playing D, moving without the ball or developing a solid jumper. Would be very surprised if Shaw doesn’t limit Andre’s minutes. Hope he takes it well and doesn’t chafe about playing time.

    • alex47666

      In his 2 years with us, he made moe 3’s in that span than any other 2 year span. He worked on his j, but still his negative out way the positives

  • John

    any good miller did was far outweighed by the bad. ironically, this is what espn said about him in a player profile for the upcoming season. “It’s also hard to find much evidence of Miller slipping at the defensive end, where he remains fairly average. Denver defended worse with him at shooting guard, which is probably to be expected from such a small backcourt. The Nuggets had a tough time finding a good matchup for him against the Warriors — Stephen Curry certainly wasn’t it — but that was more of a larger lineup issue than a specific indictment of Miller’s defense.”

  • Paul Griggs

    Disagree with this ranking. He’s not athletic and can be disruptive when he’s upset but he’s a borderline HOFer and the only player on last year’s team capable of running the half court offense. He’s a wily veteran and Karl used him because he was one of the six best players on the team. He’s better than Robertson and Fournier, although Fournier could end up being better in the long run.

    • Ckwizard

      Sorry but “Robinson” is a point gaurd that can not only single handily win a playoff game like “Miller” did but also can be good enough the rest of the playoff series to help his team win the series, Robinson at this point is by far the better player.