Reggie Miller is one of the greatest shooting guards of all time. This, we know. He had countless breathtaking moments and must-watch games. But now he is a broadcaster, spewing ill thought out (and sometimes just plain wrong) analysis. This, we hate.
To make Thursdays a little more fun I’ve come up with this column. Each week, I will highlight some of Miller’s most egregious errors in this space. I’ve also created a petition to get Miller off TNT that I encourage you to sign. Now, let’s get right into it.
He starts talking about how Denver is the best offensive rebounding team in the league. This is partially correct. They are tied with Memphis in raw offensive rebounds per game, but this doesn’t mean anything. With the pace the Nuggets play at, they throw up a lot more shots and thus have the chance to grab many more offensive rebounds. When you look at offensive rebounding rate aka the percentage of available offensive rebounds a team grabs, Memphis is clearly in front of them. Miller has well documented his hate for advanced stats, but I just don’t see how this isn’t a better way to measure offensive rebounding.
Contradictory analysis begins when he notes that he didn’t think Denver was a good defensive team (For the record: they are a slightly above average defensive team, sitting at 13th in the league), but that it was a pleasant surprise how they were getting after it. Then, in the third quarter, he says Denver is probably the best team getting offense off defense in the league, which of course, needs, well, defense. But Denver totally isn’t a good defensive team, at least according to Miller two quarters earlier. For the record: Denver clearly isn’t the best team getting offense off of defense in the league. The Clippers are better than them in points of turnovers, offense, and defense. A little bit of research wouldn’t have hurt, Reg.
Then, late in the first quarter, he started spewing about how Denver was killing the Bulls with points in the paint. At this point, Denver had 31 total points, 12 of those coming in the painted area; or, 38.7% of their points were scored in the paint. In an average game this season, the Nuggets score 104.7 points, 56.6 of those coming in the paint, good for a 54% percentage of points in the paint. So when Miller went on this tirade about how the Bulls had to limit Denver’s points in the paint, Denver was actually scoring in the paint at a lower rate than normal.
The crew then went into talking about the ascent of Jimmy Butler and how important he had been to the team (and nobody is denying this). Miller then stated that Butler allowed Coach Tom Thibodeau to put Luol Deng at the four and Butler at the three without the defense suffering. This is simply a factually incorrect statement: when playing this lineup the Bulls’ defense suffers, 4.6 points per 100 possessions worse than Chicago’s normal starting lineup to be precise. That’s about the difference between the best defense in the league (Indiana) and the ninth best (Milwaukee). Now, having the ninth best defense in the league is nothing to scoff at, but to say this switch doesn’t hurt the defense is just plain wrong.
Kenneth Faried had a good game. To say he is a bonafide superstar though, is stupid. At this point, Faried is conceivably the 14th best power forward in the game. Behind players like Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, and Paul Millsap and in a group that contains Tristan Thompson (putting up really good numbers by the way) and Carlos Boozer. I doubt Miller even goes close to calling any of those five players a bonafide superstar on national television.
Miller than starts gushing praise for Nate Robinson, calling him consistent and saying he hits big shots, which has brought a lot to this Bulls team. Robinson has 18 games this season with less than 10 points and 12 games with more than 20. In situations with under five minutes remaining and with a margin of five points or less, Robinson is shooting 9-30 from the field. I’ll let those two statistics speak for themselves.
The crew then gets into how successful the Bulls have been this season. The first two names out of Miller’s mouth when talking about this success are Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The third is Kirk Hinrich. Welp.