In about a day and a half, the NBA's 2011-12 regular season ends, and for a lot of us it doesn't come a moment too soon. The lockout made it so that the "2011" part of the season's tag comes off as somewhat laughable, the league didn't begin play until December 25th, and the greedy and cynical (like we wouldn't notice, NBA?) lumping of 66 games in a space where 50 or so games should have gone has resulted in a forgettable, frustrating year. Once this weekend hits, though, and 14 teams disappear? And teams get actual practice time, and proper space off between games? Things should perk up. Right?
We're hoping so. Someone like Miami's Mike Miller is hoping so. Miller, who has had a terrible go of things health-wise since signing with the Heat during the summer of 2010, was recently the subject of a Miami Herald piece that pointed to his late-season return from injury, lauding his "versatility," "increased playing time," and the hope that Miller "might finally be close to becoming that guy." "That guy," apparently, being someone who puts the Heat over the top, as they attempt to win the team's first title with LeBron James in charge.
The problem is that, even with the relative health and increased playing time, Miller has been pretty terrible in the month of April — shooting 32 percent and registering nearly as many turnovers as assists as he continues to try and act like a mini-LeBron of sorts. Miller is shooting 39 percent from long range during the season's final month (19-48), but even that solid mark is a step down from his season-long pace of 45 percent from behind the arc. Even as a rebirth, Miller's return is as frustrating as yesterday is. And on Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears and Greg Anthony wondered aloud if the Heat had enough to pull out a title. Watch the video: