NBA Finals 2012: Veteran Mike Miller Played Big in Game 5 Despite Injury Woes

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJune 24, 2012

Mike Miller.
Mike Miller.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

How important is winning a NBA championship to veteran players around the league?

It is quite important to those players who have been around the NBA for 10 years or longer and are still in search of their first ring and are willing to make sacrifices in order to acquire one.

Mike Miller of the Miami Heat is one player that made sure to take advantage of the opportunity that was presented to him earlier this week.

Miller has had a long NBA career that saw him go from being named the Rookie of the Year in 2001 as a member of the Orlando Magic to dealing with a recent string of injuries that may have him seriously consider stepping away from the game at the age of 32 (h/t Chris Huber, The Daily Republic).

Miller, who is known for his three-point shooting and ball-handling, signed with the Heat as a free agent in the summer of 2010 although he has not been able to produce as expected.

Injuries have caused Miller to be in and out of the rotation almost to the point of frustration.

First it was a thumb injury in the preseason that caused him to miss a good bit of the 2010-11 NBA season (where he appeared in 41 games, via NBA.com). However, previously he suffered a shoulder injury when he was on the Washington Wizards and has been dealing with small injuries throughout his time with the Heat.

However, Miller was able to show what he was signed to do during Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night with his shooting that gave the Heat a huge boost. Miller went on to score 23 points off the bench including going 7-of-8 from the three-point line as the Heat shot a blistering 53.8 percent from the three-point line alone.

At the end of the day, Miller displayed his skills when it mattered the most. Given all of the injuries that he has suffered, Miller knew that he had to make the most of the opportunity.

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