So apparently Mike Miller now has a calf injury in addition to the shoulder problem that clearly hasn't fully healed. Mike Jones tweeted last night that he will be evaluated tomorrow, but if his calf muscle "popped," as Flip Saunders said, he could miss up to 4-5 weeks.
If so, that's really bad. Really, really bad.
Right now, the Wizards' offense is struggling with a lack of ball movement. There's no flow to anything that's going on. Guys are shooting too many contested two-point jumpers. Over 70% of the Wizards' shots this year are jumpers, which isn't astronomical, but only 51% of those jumpers are assisted, which is pitifully low. It's no surprise that the Wizards are posting just a 40.9 eFG% on those jumpers. In other words, to put it fairly bluntly, too many guys are displaying on-court selfishness out there.
The one guy who has not displayed such on-court selfishness is Mike Miller. Miller's usage rate is a criminally-low 12.7%. He's taking only good shots and hitting them -- his true shooting percentage is an insane 73.3%. He's moving the ball, making plays for others and passing up looks to give his teammates shots. In short, he's been the antithesis of what's ailing the Wizards offense right now.
Don't believe me? Check out these on-off stats:
- When Mike Miller is in the game, the Wizards score an average of 121.5 points per 100 possessions. When he is out of the game, the Wizards score only 90.7 points per 100 possessions. That's a difference of over 30.8 points per 100 possessions.
- When Mike Miller is in the game, the Wizards' team effective field goal percentage is 53.7%. When Miller is out of the game, the Wizards' effective field goal percentage is 41.7%
- And perhaps most strikingly...
- When Mike Miller is in the game, 61% of the Wizards' made field goals are assisted. When he is out of the game, that number drops to 45%. 45 percent! That means that more than half of the Wizards' points when Miller is out of the game come because someone made a one-on-one move and created his own shot. You simply can't score efficiently in this system that way.
It's a small sample size, sure. Still, for a team whose locker room may be fracturing, losing the one player who displays on-court unselfishness is potentially a devastating blow. It's easy to wonder why Miller was playing hurt in the first place, but the Wizards clearly needed him. Now that he's out again, the Wizards will very easily realize how much they will miss the little things Miller provided for them.