Interview: Blazers’ McMillan on Miller — ‘He’s probably one of the quietest guys I’ve seen’
Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan discussed guard Andre Miller during an interview Wednesday, following a practice at the team’s workout facility in Tualatin, Ore.
McMillan on Miller trying to adapt to and fit in with the team:
I know that he is trying to adapt. And I know some of the things he’s trying to adapt to. Going from starting to coming off the bench. Coming from (Philadelphia) to Portland. It’s not only a different media, it’s a different team. He was there for a few years. And now he’s in Portland — I don’t think he knew any of our guys before coming here. So now, you’ve got to get with a different group and earn their trust. You’ve got to come in … who is this guy? Because they don’t know him. To earn the trust of the team is something that he knows he has to do. How do you go about doing it? How quickly does that happen?
On whether he’s seeing progress in Miller fitting in with the Blazers:
No. Because that’s who he is. … The progress is — no, he doesn’t talk. He’s a very, very quiet individual. And he is to himself. It’s almost like — sometimes silence is worse than someone who talks. Because you can’t, you don’t have a read. Or you don’t know how to — you try to figure out how to communicate with them. And it may not be personal, but you can take it that way. Sometimes, being in a room and not saying anything can say just as much as someone who …
For me, it’s new. And I have to try to communicate with him and talk to him and get him to understand what we need and where I’m coming from. But also read him. Because all of our guys are different. You can’t treat one guy; you expect the same thing from them, but they all are a little different. Some guys want to be talked to and shown. Some guys want to be kind of left alone, and some guys are to themselves. And there’s some guys that come in here loud. And you have to adapt to all these personalities. I’m sitting here — I’ve got 15 personalities that I have to adapt to and they all are different. No one guy is the same. So, that is what I have to adapt to. How to communicate to him what we want and what we need.
On what he has found is the best way to communicate with Miller:
I just go get him. (Laughs.) I go get him. And when I feel like something is not — he may not be clear on some things; go get him. And we’ll talk about it, or we’ll go through a film session. We’ll sit down and I’ll talk to him about the players he’s playing with. Talk to him about some things; just coach him about some things I think can help with him being out there with the guys. So, that I have to do.
On whether he thinks the situation will improve:
(Long pause) We have him now. And maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t. But what I try doing is try to put him in situations to make, to help him, so he can help us. We brought on a veteran. So he’s not a young boy, he’s been around. Thirty three. We felt he had something left. So, his deal for two years, for three years, we felt like it was a good deal for us in bringing in that type of guard with the young guards that we had. And also, I felt even though that — one day he may be the starter — I thought, I feel he can make our second unit better. But we don’t have our second unit. And we don’t have our starting unit. So now, that second unit is not what I envisioned. … Not only could he make those guys better, but he could play the game the way he plays. Which is, he tries to score; he likes holding on to the ball. He could do that with that group. But now we don’t have that group. He’s not setting up Travis (Outlaw). It’s only Rudy (Fernandez) out there. And now, just last night, without LaMarcus (Aldridge) … the injuries really has had an affect on us really being able to look at this and see if it could be a factor. Whether or not, who knows. We still could be sitting here saying the same thing. But now we’re down to 11 guys, and really, other than Rudy and Joel (Przybilla), those guys have never played together. So that’s going to take — it’s just like the rest of our guys the last couple years — it takes time for them to figure out how to play together and trust each other and want play with each other and the chemistry and all of that. And when you have a guy who’s as quiet as Andre is, it slows it down even more. Just because the guy’s learning what to say, when to say it. And he’s just an introverted guy. He’s probably one of the quietest guys I’ve seen.