Utah Jazz: The Perennial Uprising Of C.J. Miles
This article won't get many views. It won't be popular. It won't win any medals, but it needs to be said.
Since C.J. Miles came into the league as a second round pick out of Skyline High School in Texas, he's faced an uphill climb. Being assigned to the D-League for the majority of his first two seasons, he slowly began to see playing time with the Jazz. When his third season came around he saw action in sixty games. However, he only played 11 minutes per game.
During the off-season of the 2008 season CJ's hard work began to pay off. Utah's coaching staff talked highly of the much-improved forward. The following season he played in all 82 regular season games. Although he only played 20 minutes per game, we saw many flashes of what he was capable of.
He averaged nine points per game, but didn't see much playoff action due to an injured finger. The following season he didn't have a regular starting role, but still saw plenty of action. He posted 10 points per game coming off the bench. Toward the end of the season C.J.'s averages skyrocketed after Andrei Kirilenko went out with an injury.
If you look at C.J. Miles's career stats, you wouldn't think much of them. At least until you look at this past season's playoffs. In the playoffs Miles averaged 14 points in 33 minutes. Oh, and don't forget that Miles had Carmelo Anthony, Ron Artest, and Kobe Bryant guarding him the entire time.
I'm not saying that this is Miles's breakout year. I believe that already happened at the end of last season. Once he received minutes, he put up impressive statistics, which gave him confidence. Since the Jazz lost the shooting spark in Kyle Korver, they are going to look more to Miles for three-point shooting.
Miles will likely play 33 to 35 minutes per game next season. Because he won't have three of the best defensive players in the game guarding him the whole time, he is going to put up better stats. Add that along with his that silky smooth left-handed jump shot, the high-flying entertainment (not to mention that block on Fisher), C.J. Miles is one of those players that if he was treated like a star, he could put up star-like numbers.
The Jazz already have their star in Deron Williams, but look to see Miles develop into that second option. And if and injury does happens to Deron, expect to see C.J. Miles take the reigns. Even though I hope and pray nothing happens to Deron Williams, I will go as far as say that if Deron went down toward the beginning of the season, Miles could be the next All-Star for the Jazz.
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