In Philadel­phia, Miller Finds ‘Pos­i­tive At­ti­tudes’

The Washington Post Sunday - - Nbasunday -

An­dre Miller un­der­stand­ably was up­set on Dec. 19, when he was dealt from a po­ten­tial play­off con­tender in Den­ver to join a Philadel­phia team in the midst of an 11-game los­ing streak. “I didn’t know what to ex­pect. I just knew I was com­ing to a team that was go­ing through a lot of things,” Miller said. “But the main thing was when I got here, it was pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes. That made my tran­si­tion a whole lot eas­ier.”

The key piece in the Allen Iver­son trade, Miller has helped push the 76ers’ late-sea­son surge, which in­cluded an un­likely eight-game win streak — the long­est for any team that had ever been 20 games be­low .500 in the same sea­son — and prac­ti­cally knocked Philadel­phia out of se­ri­ous con­tention for the worst record in the league and the best chance at the No. 1 pick. “I came here to try to win,” Miller said, “not worry about a draft pick and all that kind of stuff.”

The 76ers are re­build­ing around their young play­ers, in­clud­ing An­dre Iguo­dala and Samuel Dalem­bert, but de­spite Gen­eral Man­ager Billy King’s dec­la­ra­tion that he had no in­ten­tion of deal­ing him, the 31-year-old Miller still is un­sure about his fu­ture with the team. “I’m not too wor­ried about that right now,” he said. “I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen. I’m just happy to have a job. I’m play­ing with some guys that are re­ally com­pet­i­tive and they’re hard work­ers. I can’t re­ally ask for any­thing else.” . . .

The Toronto Rap­tors suf­fered a huge blow last week when they lost rookie Jorge Gar­ba­josa for the sea­son with a dis­placed an­kle and frac­tured fibula. But the in­jury al­lowed for­mer Wizard and Mary­land star Juan Dixon to move into the start­ing lineup. Dixon, who joined the Rap­tors in a dead­line trade with Port­land, strug­gled to crack the ro­ta­tion with the Trail Blaz­ers with the emer­gence of rookie of the year fa­vorite Bran­don Roy, but he av­er­aged 11.1 points in his first 14 games in Toronto. “I’m just hav­ing fun once again,” Dixon said re­cently. “I thought it was a much bet­ter sit­u­a­tion here in Toronto. Port­land was go­ing in a much dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. I didn’t feel like I was a part of their plans.” . ...

Los An­ge­les Clip­pers cen­ter Chris Ka­man aban­doned the Hulk Ho­gan/cave­man look this sea­son, re­plac­ing the long blond locks with a more con­ser­va­tive hairdo. Ka­man said re­cently that it was not in­ten­tional. “I didn’t want to cut it off, but the per­son who cuts my hair messed up when he cut it so I had to cut it all off,” Ka­man said. “Peo­ple like it long. Peo­ple like it short. My mother likes it short, so I just try to keep her happy a lit­tle bit.”

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