By: Caleb Christensen – Public Relations Intern | Sioux Falls Skyforce
Patrick Miller was acquired by the Sioux Falls Skyforce from the Texas Legends on November 30, 2016. Before Miller played for the Legends, he played four season at Tennessee State averaging 23 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists in nearly 38 minutes per game as a senior.
He was selected by the Oklahoma City Blue in the second round of the 2015 NBA Development League Draft, only to be traded to the Texas Legends on the same night. He averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 assists in 27 minutes per game during the 52 games (12 starts) he was in Texas.
Last summer Miller played for the Chicago Bulls summer league team in Las Vegas, he appeared in seven games averaging 3.4 points in 10.8 minutes of action.
Miller was then acquired by the Skyforce in November 2016. Since coming to the Skyforce he’s played 38 games for the Skyforce. Even though he gave the Skyforce valuable minutes off the bench for the first half of the season, he has stepped up his game lately after being promoted to a starter.
Miller has grown as a point guard the last half of the season, he’s a guard that attacks the rim with a quick first step, and thrives in the mid-range game. The coaches have begun to trust him which resulted in the starting point guard role. Both him and the coaching staff have trusted his shot a lot more lately. He’s a true leader on and off the court, with his energy that he brings to the team since being acquired.
The decision to make Miller a starter has paid dividends to the team as he has averaged 24.3 points, 7.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds since being in the starting lineup. He’s scored a career high, 32 points, and matched it once in the month of February. He ranks No. 10 in the D League in assists, which has been a huge part of him growing into a double threat point guard. He ranks 16th in free throws attempted and made which is due in large part to his ability to attack the rim and either get the foul or dish the ball for an assist.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Miller after the win against the Maine Red Claws, and as we get ready to gear up for the last couple games and postseason. Here’s what he had to say as he looked back on his growth as a player, and getting the starting point guard role with the team:
Q: You’ve came on hot lately, what’s been the difference so far?
A: My role changed with the team. I knew I was capable of it, but I just wanted to be aggressive and help my team in any way I can. I just got into a good rhythm from the showcase till now. I just have been playing good basketball.
Q: Have you let it come to you naturally or have you had to work for every shot?
A: The way I play I feel like it came naturally. I’m a guard who attacks the rim and plays in the mid-range. I just adjusted to it and took on the role and I was able to succeed in it.
Q: What has this year’s coaching staff done to help you improve as a player and a teammate?
A: From day one since I got here I feel like my game has gotten better. I feel like I’m thinking of the game out on the court more as a point guard. I feel like they’ve helped me enhance my skills as a point guard and helped me get ready for the next level.
Q: How have you felt your game has grown since the beginning of the year?
A: I feel like I became better mentally on the court, more confident in my shots and really thinking of the game while out there on the court playing. I feel like I can change speeds, change directions, change the pace of the game and I can either attack or slow it down. I really think I have learned a lot just mentally.
Q: Has your increase in minutes helped you grow as a player?
A: Oh, yes definitely. I definitely think the coaches trust me more now. When I first got here I don’t think we knew each other yet, but now for them to be able to trust me and put me in the starting lineup and get the minutes now, I feel like they believe in me and that helps me go out there and play better and smarter.