January 3, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller (24) drives to the basket during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Pepsi Center. The Timberwolves won 101-97. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Miller joins elite company

From a personal standpoint, I have always enjoyed watching Andre Miller play the game of basketball. From his Cleveland days up until now, I’ve just admired watching Miller play the game as a true point guard.

During the Denver Nuggets loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, Miller joined some elite company. Along with Gary Payton, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, Miller became just the eighth player in NBA history to record 15,000 points and 7,500 assists.

While Miller achieved the feat the fourth fastest on the list (1,078 games), is he a top five point guard of all time? Sounds absurd doesn’t it?

Not to Nuggets Head Coach George Karl.

Karl said that he would place Miller top five all time for true point guards. Karl told reporters that he wasn’t taking into account the three-ball or scoring, but playing true to the position the way it is supposed to be played.

Looking at some of the greats out there, it’s hard for me to consider Miller top five over players like Johnson, Thomas, Stockton, Nash, Robertson, Kidd, Payton, Maurice Cheeks and Walt Frazier. While their careers are very far from being over, it’s hard for me to not make an argument that Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul would rank above Miller.

Regardless of where he ranks, Miller has had a very quiet, but extremely productive career in his stops across the league. As someone who can score, come off the bench, direct an offense and defend the leagues’ top guards (see him shutting down Chris Paul last week), Miller is filling his role perfectly on this Nuggets team.

As Ty Lawson is just coming back from his Achilles injury, Miller has stepped in and contributed without missing a beat. Lawson said after the loss to Minnesota that the team wasn’t doing what they needed to down the stretch of games. With a guy that Karl calls “a blessing to a coach,” you can’t imagine that Miller will allow the team to be unfocused for too long.

When it’s all said and done, Miller will be looked at as one of the best true point guards to play the game. Top five or not.

 

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Tags: Andre Miller Chris Paul Denver Nuggets Gary Payton Minnesota Timberwolves Nba Rajon Rondo

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