After slow start, C.J. Miles turning season around
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 7:02 PM
Cleveland Cavaliers’ C.J. Miles (0) jumps to the basket against Indiana Pacers’ David West (21) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The Cavaliers have an opportunity to accomplish something in Wednesday's game they haven't done all season: Win two games in a row.
In fact, they haven't won back-to-back games since March 2012.
The Cavs (6-23) travel to Washington (3-22) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Verizon Center. The Wizards have the worst record in the league.
That won't matter unless the Cavs play the right way.
"Any team in the league can beat any other team on a given night," Cavs swingman C.J. Miles said. "We've won six games. We can't look at a team and think we'll win. They won't just give it to us.
"They look at us the same way. We have to compete every night. They could have two guys score 30 that night."
The Cavs thumped Washington in the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena, 94-84.
The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Miles got off to an abysmal start to the 2012-13 season. Since then, he's evolved into a consistent performer for Coach Byron Scott off the bench.
He's reached double figures in scoring in 10 of his last 11 games. Since Dec. 5, he's averaged 15.5 points and 3.5 rebounds and has shot 47.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc (29 of 61).
Miles helped the Cavs topple Milwaukee last Saturday, 94-82. He finished with 16 points, which included a 3-for-6 performance from the 3-point line.
Scott said Miles can score in a number of ways.
"Offensively, he's pretty gifted," he said. "At times I question his decision-making."
He averaged 22 points in four games as a starter. Since rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters returned to the starting lineup on Dec. 18, Miles was forced to adjust once again.
"He's had to change his thinking again," Scott said. "He's not going to get those 35 minutes a game he was getting. He's getting 18 to 24 (minutes), somewhere in that area.
"I like the way he's playing because he's coming in and being real aggressive on the offensive end with not only his shot, but with getting to the basket. It took him a couple games to adjust to coming off the bench."
He had a solid preseason for the Cavs, but once the regular season started, he struggled with his shooting and turnovers. However, he said he kept his head in the game.
"The biggest thing is staying positive with the whole thing," he said. "I didn't let it (get) me down. When I got opportunities, they ran plays for me. They believed in me and told me to be aggressive even when I was going through the drought I was going through."
Miles said he feels comfortable in the offense and has found a rhythm on his shot.
On the season, he's averaging 10.4 points and 2.8 rebounds.
"I found my timing and the pace I wanted to play at," he said. "It's not so much just knowing the plays. It's a matter of playing within the plays. It's getting used to finding the spots you like to shoot in. That gave me better looks."
He said part of his slow start was because he wanted to make a big impact with his new team.
"I wanted to play so well coming to a new situation," Miles said. "I wanted to make a difference. I let it weigh me down. I finally slowed down and found a way to make plays and get some easy baskets."