Mike Miller: Hits not affecting his game
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Miller said he's feeling the effects of two blows to the head on the Heat's current road trip. But he refused to admit it affected his performance, including his miss on a potential tying 3-pointer just ahead of the final horn against the Celtics on Sunday.
Miller suffered a concussion last Friday night in Detroit and then took another shot Sunday when Kevin Garnett crumpled him to the floor on a blindside pick.
"It's not why I missed," Miller said after the Heat's practice Monday at Conseco Fieldhouse. "I'm a little woozy from it still but it is not why I missed."
That statement seems to contradict itself. Miller, who had been on a hot streak before getting hit in Detroit, struggled shooting the ball Sunday including airballing a wide-open 3-pointer in the third quarter. He was just 1-of-5 from the field.
"He hit me pretty good," Miller said. "I didn't see it coming, it was a good hit."
Miller was examined by doctors in Detroit before being cleared to fly and then was tested for concussion-related symptoms before playing against Boston. Still, Miller refused to use it as an excuse.
"I've got to make the shot," Miller said. "I rushed it a little bit because I wasn't expecting to be that open. It is my job to make it, no excuses."
Miller had concussion issues earlier in his career, missing games in the 2004-05 season and the 2005-06 season after concussions. In January of 2005, Miller missed six games after a head injury in a Memphis Grizzlies practice. After that hit, Miller said he started to wear a mouthpiece.
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He missed two more games with a concussion in December of 2005 after taking an elbow to the head, requiring eight stitches. Despite that history, Miller said he's not concerned about the recent hits to the head and said concussions are something "you play through."
"I'm fine," Miller said. "It is the way I play, I'm going to have them from time-to-time, you play through them. If I forget my name I'll be worried, right now I'm fine."
Brian Windhorst covers the NBA for ESPN.com.