Rap­tors sign three-point spe­cial­ist Miles

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTING LIFE -

TORONTO — The Na­tional Basketball As­so­ci­a­tion’s shift to­ward three-point shoot­ing has a big fan in C.J. Miles.

The Toronto Rap­tors swing­man has de­vel­oped into one of the league’s elite sharp­shoot­ers, and the three-point trend has breathed “new life” into the 30-year-old’s ca­reer.

Team pres­i­dent Ma­sai Ujiri of­fi­cially in­tro­duced his new­est player, who should be a big of­fen­sive boost to a team that strug­gled in the play­offs against the long bombs of the Cleve­land Cava­liers.

“We just signed a sniper, so we’re happy,” grinned Ujiri.

The six-foot-six, 225-pound Miles, who re­port­edly signed a three-year deal worth $25 mil­lion US, is com­ing off a ca­reer-best 41.3 per cent shoot­ing from three-point range last sea­son with In­di­ana. That’s slightly bet­ter than team leader Kyle Lowry (41.2), and 12th in the league among play­ers who at­tempted at least 200 threes last sea­son.

“It’s ba­si­cally given me greater op­por­tu­ni­ties to be able to play this game, to be able to hone in on that, and that to be one of the things to make my niche on a team and al­low me to be a greater weapon on a team,” said Miles, who went straight from high school to the NBA.”

The Rap­tors were 14th in the league in three-point per­cent­age, and the weak­ness was par­tic­u­larly glar­ing against Cleve­land in the post-sea­son. Miles holds ca­reer av­er­ages of 9.8 points, 2.5 re­bounds and 1.1 as­sists in 715 games through 12 NBA sea­sons with In­di­ana, Cleve­land and Utah, and is a ca­reer 31.6 per cent three-point shooter.

He de­vel­oped his three-point shot, he said, be­cause of “ma­tu­rity,” and at the sug­ges­tion of for­mer Cleve­land coach Mike Brown.

The Rap­tors also signed Kennedy Meeks on Tues­day. The six-foot-10 for­ward av­er­aged 11.3 points, 5.5 re­bounds and 15.5 in four NBA Sum­mer League games with the Rap­tors. Meeks played four sea­sons at North Carolina, help­ing the Tar Heels win the NCAA ti­tle this past sea­son.

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