Putting some numbers on the Mike Miller effect

So much negativity.  So much justified negativity.  Let's talk about something positive!

Let's talk about Mike Miller.  We've talked about Mike Miller all season as if he has some magic intangible effect that uplifts the team.  He moves mountains!  He makes girls swoon with his southern country twang! He's so awesome that his little kids are taller than most 10-year olds (they actually are - he brought his kids into the locker room the other day, and I was shocked to find out they were just six and four respectively). 

Okay, I'm getting a little carried away, but if you've read this site for a while, you know I'm naturally skeptical of those "intangible" guys.  I hated Michael Ruffin, for example, even though many people loved the little things he did.  Same with Etan Thomas and his "toughness."  It took me a while to come around to Darius Songaila, and I'm still not sure I ever came around.  Why?  Because often times, when we talk about intangibles, we do so because there's absolutely nothing good about the players' game.  They don't bring anything that we can define to the table, so we use vague terms to try to describe how they help the team.  More often than not, they don't actually do anything to help the team, and we're left to try to understand why coaches play them.

But Mike Miller is different.  Why?  Well, for players whose major skill is intangible, it's very important that we are able to quantifiably define how they help the team.  I defended Brendan Haywood for several years because, even while he wasn't playing much, his presence alone made the Wizards a much better defensive and rebounding team statistically. (Don't believe me? Go to the 82games.com archives).  In my mind, your intangible quality has to help the team in some tangible way for me to bestow that status on you.

So with that, does Mike Miller pass the smell test?  Yes, in a big way.  Check out the different ways in which he helps the offense statistically. (Via 82Games, of course). 

  • Offensive efficiency with Miller in the game: 118.6 
  • Offensive Efficiency with Miller out of the game: 103.5
  • Team effective field goal percentage with Miller in the game: 52.7%
  • Team effective field goal percentage with Miller out of the game: 47.2%
  • Percentage of field goals that were assisted with Miller in the game: 58%
  • Percentage of field goals that were assisted with Miller out of the game: 47%
  • Percentage of rebounds grabbed with Miller in the game: 54%
  • Percentage of rebounds grabbed with Miller out of the game: 49%
Was there really a point to this, other than to point out some rad numbers?  No, not really.  I just wanted to mention that, if you're one of those people who loves Mike Miller, there's reason for you to think that way.  It's a damn shame that a) this team never was good enough to take full advantage of all the intangible effects Miller brings to the table, and b) Miller missed so many games with injury. 
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