May 26, 2011, 10:22 AM EST
Mike Miller is going to be a big key for the Miami Heat come the NBA finals. Even in trying to close out the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 Thursday night.
But it’s not going to be easy for him, physically or emotionally.
Physically, Miller is playing through a ruptured tendon in his left thumb, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at practice on Wednesday. This is exactly what he did to his right thumb in training camp and why he missed the first three months of the season. That he is playing at all is impressive, and this explains his at times up and down play. That said, he had a big Game 4 for the Heat and they need more of that.
On a personal note, Miller is playing through a difficult personal issue as well, reports Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.
His wife gave birth to a baby girl last Thursday in a South Florida hospital, but the newborn daughter has remained in the intensive care unit with an undisclosed health issue. Miller left with the team on Wednesday to travel to Chicago.
Our thoughts are with him and his family.
But it’s not going to get any easier, the role the Heat will ask Miller to play is only going to grow with each game.
- Sunday night NBA Grades: Rudy Gay traded to Kings, Kobe returns for Lakers 0
- Expect to see facilitator Kobe in his return to Lakers 5
- Raptors trade Rudy Gay to Sacramento for multiple players 23
- Knicks lose by 41 points at home to Celtics 24
- LeBron James likely to start at center for Eastern Conference All-Stars 10
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (65)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (52)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (47)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (44)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (43)