In Philadelphia, Miller Finds ‘Positive Attitudes’
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.”