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Miller decides against retirement, expects to avoid surgery; Heat, Fins, Canes, Marlins notes

WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Not only has Heat swingman Mike Miller decided against retirement (contrary to an ESPN report from last month), but he also now expects to avoid the back surgery that many thought was inevitable.

“The plan is to avoid surgery,” Miller said Tuesday while hosting a basketball camp for children in Hialeah. “We’re doing everything we can. I fully intend on being ready for training camp.” And he’s optimistic about playing a full 2012-13 season.

Miller, who has said he has multiple bulging discs, was in pain throughout the playoffs but still drained seven three-pointers (in eight attempts) in the Heat’s series-clinching win against Oklahoma City. But Miller feels “a ton” of improvement since the playoffs: “There’s no comparison.”

Noted neurological surgeon Barth Green is optimistic surgery can be avoided, Miller said. Aside from traveling for promotional appearances (including for his new energy drink, Let It Fly, that hits the market Aug. 10), Miller has been resting his back. Green and Miller will meet Wednesday and discuss when to move on to the next phase of “strengthening it and doing exercises.

“I was nervous [seeing Barth Green]," said Miller, who had hernia surgery last offseason. "People who are the best at what they do also know how to do alternatives and what it takes to prevent having surgery. Even though he's known for being the best as a surgeon, he was trying to avoid it, which is a credit to him.

"The problem with not having surgery is it doesn't go away," he added. But "the doctor says it looks fantastic. So we're going to continue to rehab it and see how it goes.”

Miller, 32, said his epic Game 5 of The Finals still doesn’t seem real. “The one thing it has done is it makes me want to do it again, not the 7-for-8, but being part of a playoff run.”

He said retirement “crossed my mind” but “if I didn’t believe I can play, I wouldn’t have come back.” He said he probably would have retired if he had needed surgery.

Regarding Miller, Heat president Pat Riley said, "I remember one year Dan Majerle was going to retire because of a severe back injury. He said, ‘I can’t practice.’ We put him on a bike every day. Never practiced once and started every game for us. There are ways to maintain guys that have had a number of injuries.”

With the addition of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, the Heat is loaded with shooters, but Miller didn’t sound concerned. He averaged 6.1 points and 19.3 minutes last season, shooting 45.3 percent on three-pointers. Coincidentally, Allen also shot 45.3 percent on threes last season but made twice as many as MIller (106 to 53).

“Minutes are always hard on this team. That’s what makes it good and competitive,” Miller said. "You're not just adding two more shooters. You're adding the best shooter of all time when it comes to makes, and Rashard Lewis is right up there, too."

Owed $18.9 million over the next three years, Miller said the fact players continue to take less money to sign here “shows commitment to winning. This is a special organization to be a part of it. The Arisons and Rileys should both be patting themselves on the back. Whenever you’ve got players that take less money, that means you’re doing something right.”

As Riley said two weeks ago, the Heat did not use its amnesty provision on Miller - or anybody - before Tuesday's deadline.

CHATTER

### Chris Bosh has a message to Heat center Dexter Pittman: “You have to stop fouling!” Pittman has shown offensive growth during the first two Summer League games but the 10 fouls in 37 minutes is ridiculous, especially considering the competition.... Though FIU alum Raja Bell would love to play here, the Heat has shown zero interest since he became a free agent.

### Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is so hands-on that his wife, Diane, said “he was interested in changing the Dolphins’ letterhead and I was shocked he was concerned with that.” Philbin has been very involved in changes throughout the facility, including choosing photos of former Dolphins to put in the halls (and the cutlines/captions) and posting slogans such as “champions practice here.”

### Players have talked about how detail-oriented Philbin is, and Diane says as a couple, they actually write five-year lists of “our goals for life and our kids.” She calls Joe her “meat and potatoes. He’s always there, dependable, steady. His best quality is he takes a stressful situation, puts it in perspective, and makes it less stressful.”

### General manager Jeff Ireland, speaking about Ryan Tannehill to the Dolphins’ web site: “I’m trying not to put too many grandiose expectations on the kid. I think the kid is our future. Obviously, I wouldn't have drafted him with the eighth pick [otherwise]. I feel like he's the kind of guy you want in the locker-room, the kind of athlete you want running an offense. But we’ve got two other quarterbacks here that are very established, very good competitors, so it’s not going to be easy for him."

Tannehill has been slow in making decisions at times and has taken a lot of sacks. But Ireland said, "the speed of the game is challenging for any rookie.”

### The Dolphins have discussed cutting capacity at Sun Life Stadium, but now are re-evaluating that because they’ve sold 6000 new season tickets, mostly since the draft. That's the most in several years, team CEO Mike Dee said. 

### UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, who attended a Dolphins practice last month, isn’t using the no-huddle like the Dolphins are, but wants to hasten the tempo.

“We would like to go from 66 plays a game to 76,” he said. “We’re trying to break the huddle at about 23 seconds rather than 15. And we’ve eliminated some of our motions to get going quicker. Our guys really responded to that.”

### One National League scout, on Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson (5-6, 4.28): “He can’t keep his pitch count down, and they have to get him out after five or six innings. He doesn’t have the same stuff, and hitters can foul a lot of pitches off. He’s got enough velocity on his fastball. It’s more an issue of life and angle on the fastball.”

According to fangraphs.com, his fastball velocity is down to 93.0 - from 94.9 two years ago – and hitters are swinging and missing on nine percent of his pitches, compared with 12 two years ago. On pitches swung at, batters are making contact on 91 percent of balls in the strike zone, compared with 83 two years ago, which is telling.

### The Marlins say they don't expect Juan Carlos Oviedo (elbow problems) to pitch again this year. He's a free agent after the season.

### The Marlins’ average home attendance of 28,442 (18th in baseball) is below the 33,000 they privately hoped for, resulting in lower gate revenue than they projected. Could that lead to a payroll reduction for 2013? That decision hasn’t yet been made. But one Marlins official expects major winter roster changes (and perhaps a trade or two in late July) if this team doesn’t start winning.

Comments

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jethro

Dez Bryant's whipping of his mom is making some look foolish!

Rob

Hope they give Miller minutes. If he's healthy, he's too good a shooter not to play. Hopefully time for both him and Allen.

OnLine

I thought Miller was "retired while on the job" already.
With all his health issues he is not doing the team a favor by staying.

Heatles

Miller should be appreciated for his 7 threees in the clincher, not mocked.

OC FIU PANTHER

Raja Bell would be a good proven, playoff veteran that can be a defensive stopper.

The Heat should sign Bell, its looking more and more like we'll meet the Lakers in the Finals next year and he know how to guard Kobe (as well as anyone can).

Penguin

Dolphins: thank you for updating the logo and font. At least, I think so. Let's see how well you do.

Marlins: I hope that a payroll reduction only affects high earning members of the organization. The persons who keep the grass green should not lose out on any green.

Trisha

Am I the only one that thinks that they are going to trade Mike Miller and Udnois Haslem?

Dashi

Mike Says he's Fine.

I don't want to hear any excuses that he has to have surgery right before the season. Next Season he will have more time on the bench. MM is going to be battling 4 people for minutes not just Shane. He might be the 8th or 9th guy off the bench. Not a lot of Minutes in Spo's System.

Question Does Bosh want Pitt to Foul less So he doesn't have to play Center so much next season? Doleac isn't even going to make it into the Pre-Season? The Heat will be playing without a True/Any Center next Year A lot. Only C's on the Roster will be Bosh and Pitt.

JA and UD are PF's. I don't see them playing a lot of Minutes with Lewis and Battier Also being Able to play PF. Specially JA

Bosh needs to gain at least 20+ lbs, even if it's in fat. Tell him to call up Zo.

Pitt needs to learn to tone it down, he has a target on his back for Now. Self-Inflicted Yes, but maybe PT will help him with the Foul Trouble. He Averaged 2 PF for every 20 minutes in College. Not really a big Foul Guy, He can Score down Low. If Pitt Can Average 8 & 8 a night in 20+minutes next year I'll consider it a Breakout Year.

It would make re-signing him almost impossible, A Center that Avg's 8 & 8 is Big & Strong, and Young. It's worth it if it means Pitt can help for another(1) Title. Can't really say he did anything this year.

Earl

Trisha I think it is just you, The Heat dont party that way UD and Miller are secure, Miller may need to reassess whether or not he plays after rest and therapy but we riding in with horse we came with... not 1, not 2, not 3...

Mike

OnLine, if you had a job that paid you almost 6 million dollars would you give that up, of course not, that would be silly. And UD and Miller aren't going anywhere, what GM in their right mind would trade for them, and for who.

Ed P

Well, I hope this new stadium entices a benevolent billionaire to purchase both it and the team (I can totally see Loria hold on to the park a la H. Wayne) and put some actual money and LOVE into it. Treat the Marlins like Haas treated the A's, as a public trust and therefore not strictly a revenue-stream.

Home on the Heat

Miller wants the 6+ million that he is under contract to receive by playing the upcoming season

Home believes Miller should retire or be traded despite his fantastic God like finish

Miller will NEVER repeat what an incredible series he had to earn his ring

Now it's all about the money to stay w the Heat and pitch his new energy drink while maintaining status as an NBA player

Tough Love but
Miller is no longer worth the money and the Heat could spend the 6+ million much wiser on another player

Nothing personal
Just business

Go Heat!

Home on the Heat

Ireland can run his gums all he wants

Fact is

TanneREACH is just that and will NEVER be a franchise QB

Martin is weak and not an NFL starter

Trading B-Marsh for a rookie TE that cannot block was a very poor trade compensation

That's (3) Big Strikes in a Row for Ireland in 2012

Home reported the truth on this terrible 2012 Draft and 2012 FA by Ireland and the Dolfans could not take the Truth

Once again Home stands alone on his convictions w the dismal 2012 Miami Dolphins and Ireland must go

Home knows the Miami Dolphins and sees Ireland w ZERO starters from his dismal 2012 Draft picks

FIRELAND

ginrai

No way the lalakas are getting Howard from the Magic. They don't have enough trading pieces. Howard will end up in either Houston or Atlanta.

Samuel Allison

Without Mike Miller's contribution during the playoffs this year, there would have been no parade down Biscayne Boulevard. Therefore, Mike should be allowed to enjoy the remaining three years of his contract even if he needs a walker to get to the bench. His impact was priceless. Consider this. If Riley had exercised the amnesty clause on Mike, the Heat would have had to pay him roughly 24 million while he sat at home or played for someone else. What makes the Heat stand head and shoulders above most sports organizations, is its loyalty to its players. That's an allureing ingredient influencing talented players to reject more money to play here. GO HEAT!!!!

Martin Blaya

Thanks for helping us win a ring Mike, but your broken corpse and $6MM per year salary will really hurt this team the next 3 years. FYI Heat replaced you in the offseason. That being said, I wouldn't retire with over $18MM sitting on the table either.

OneEyedjack

Hey...the Birdman just got released by Denver...possible fit for the Heat???

George S

Pretty surprised that Miller won't be having surgery. Dude barely could walk up and down the court. But he was really, really good in a couple playoff games this year, particularly game 5 of the NBA Finals.

I've always liked Pittman as a player, especially the fact that he plays like a TRUE center; he demands the ball downlow, gets good positioning, good footwork and touch around the rim, etc. But those fouls are ridiculous. Guy needs to use his legs, not his arms. Occasionally you gotta just let that guy get his wide open dunk rather than sacrifice a foul for an AND-1 situation.

The Marlins are ranked 18th in attendance because the team had the worst July they could've ever had. Fans want a winning product. This isn't OKC, or San Antonio, it's Miami. Few fans are like me and are willing to go to games of all the S.Florida sports teams regardless of their performance on the field. It's just the way it is in South Florida. As soon as the Marlins start playing like winners, the rest of South Florida will be there, packing the stadium to no end.

Joe

BOSH is right on regarding Pittman s fouling.Pittman better improve on that fast.If Pittman wants a future in Miami or the NBA.....he needs to improve .....like yesterday.It s just critical critiquing and Pittman needs to wake up fast.Bosh is insightful.....he looks at the overall help to the team.Some people act like they don t know Bosh very well and his expectations of excellence.Get on board people and just know Bosh wants to see the Heat improve every year.

jpejeff

Miller played 80 out of 164 games. He averaged 5.8 pts....3.9 RBs.....shot 41%.......didn't hit atleast 70% of the very little free throws he shot....shot 41% from downtown in about 20 min. Not bad # if you double those # over 40 min. He didn't pull the trigger on a lot of open looks.....Had maybe 5 great games with 1 of them being in the championship.....was that enough for us to want him back? It doesn't matter because he is BACK! There will be no more Spo must go unless you're a complete idiot. Mike must take a hike.com is very posible next year if he can't get some of that magic back he had in the last game.

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