HoopsHype.com Interviews

Andre Miller: "John Lucas has made a big difference"
by Brian Lester / April 3, 2002

You have found a great deal of success in this league in a short period of time. Do you believe that you can be the type of player who is capable of taking this team to the top?

Andre Miller: I think so. You know as long as I play with confidence and play hard, and if the guys continue to believe in me, I can help this team be successful in the future. I just want to continue to get better and make the
team better, too.

The numbers do not lie. You are second on the team in scoring (16.6 ppg) and first in assists (an NBA-best 10.7 apg). Is there anything in particular this season that has made you successful?

AM: I'm playing a lot of minutes and I'm getting the guys the basketball. That's my job as the point guard -- to get the other guys on the team involved and to make plays at the same time. I'm pleased with how I've done this year.

You certainly had a great game against Phoenix, scoring 16 points and dishing out 12 assists. What did you think of your effort against the Suns?

AM: I was happy with it. I got into some foul trouble early by getting three fouls in the first quarter, but I thought I played particularly well down the stretch. I hit some shots and made some plays when we needed them. It was
just nice to get the win.

Speaking of winning, there was a lot of hope for this team at the beginning of the season, especially with the arrival of John Lucas as coach. How frustrating has it been to see everything unravel?

AM: It's frustrating for everybody on this team. You just have to be able to keep your head up and know that things are going to get better. We just all have to keep working hard and hopefully things will turn around eventually.

Has it been tough mentally to deal with losing year in and year out, especially after coming from a Utah, which played for a national title against Kentucky in 1998?

AM: No, not really. I mean, nobody likes to lose, but you just have to be able to stay focused and keep working hard. Hopefully that hard work result in winning games on a regular basis.

What about having Lucas as your coach? Has he made a difference since his arrival?

AM: He has made a big difference since he has been here. He expects a lot out of me and out of this team in general. He can be a tough coach at times, but as long as we play hard for him, everything is going to be all right.

It seemed like things went fairly well for you guys tonight. You battled hard and came away with a victory in a close game. With just 10 games remaining until the end of the season, what is the mindset of this team?

AM: We're just trying to stay loose and focused and end the year on a good note. Obviously we aren't going to make the playoffs, but we want to work hard and finish strong, and hopefully we'll be a better team next year
because of that.

You said before the start of the season that you would like to remain in Cleveland over the long haul. Is that still true or do you have desires to play elsewhere?

AM: Hopefully I can stick around here. We have a lot of good players on this team and I'd like to be able to have a long career here in Cleveland because I think we can be a great team someday.

Brian Lester is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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