The Charlotte Hornets announced on Tuesday that starting shooting guard Terry Rozier is going to miss at least the next two games due to an injury. While this is far from the news that anyone wants to hear, Charlotte is luckily taking the 1-5 Washington Wizards in both contests, which still presents a reasonable opportunity to win. There is another opportunity that must be mentioned, not for the team but for a player. That player? Brandon Miller.
Miller took Rozier’s spot in the Hornets’ starting lineup in Sunday’s 124-118 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, so there is some precedent for that to continue. Even though Miller finished with some early career lows in points (7), rebounds (1), and shooting percentage (25%), in addition to missing a career-high five three-pointers, there is still a reason for optimism regarding the most recent second overall pick.
Prior to the somewhat disappointing showing in Sunday’s loss, Miller was averaging 14.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 30.4 minutes per game off the bench. This comes on a field goal percentage of 48.1 and a three-point conversion rate of 38.1%. While these numbers have dropped a tad following the Hornets’ last contest (43.9% and 30.8%), Miller ranks 10th in field percentage and ninth in three-point percentage among all rookies while making the third-most field goals (4.8) and sixth-most threes (1.3).
The important thing for Miller during Rozier’s absence is to understand his role in the hierarchy of the offense. LaMelo Ball is the clear number-one option in Charlotte, and that status will remain for the foreseeable future. Miller must work off of Ball in order to be a productive member of Charlotte’s temporary starting lineup. The Hornets do not need Miller to be their primary or secondary option, but rather, find a way to put up a solid stat line as a third or fourth option on offense. If he can accomplish that, it may make their decision to part ways with one or more veterans during or after this season a little bit easier.