Who Is C.J. Miles? A Q&A With Fear the Sword

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8p9s: How is his defense?

Magnotti: Miles was the Cavs’ best overall wing defender last year, but that says more about the Cavs’ defense than it does about Miles. Miles is a capable off-ball defender, as he moves well laterally and has solid awareness to play decent help defense.

The major issue for Miles last year was that the Cavs stretched him a little thin, playing him a ton of minutes at small forward and almost always asking him to defending the opponents’ best wing scorer. He also didn’t have a rim protector behind him, which often left him on an island when he was on the ball. In Indiana, I expect Miles to be very solid.

He’s not going to get the tough assignments he got last year because he’ll be sharing the floor with Paul George, and the Pacers have Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi, so he’ll have help behind him. Miles will actually be filling a role he is suited for in Indiana, and I think he’ll fit right in on this end of the floor.

8p9s: How do you see him fitting in with the Pacers?

Magnotti: Miles cannot play the role Lance Stephenson played last year. He’s probably not a player who can fill 35 minutes per game as Stephenson did, and he’s not a great distributor.

What he can do, however, is help space the floor and provide efficient scoring in about 20-25 minutes per game. You can start Miles, or bring him off the bench, and he’ll be effective as long as he isn’t overextended as he was at times last season.

I think he’d be effective in the Pacers’ starting lineup, as Miles would be a nice outlet option that Indiana could use as a corner-three shooter and change-of-pace scorer.

He also gives them the option of going small if the Pacers choose, because he can play some minutes at the three, which could open up some fun possibilities for the Pacers to counter quicker and more versatile teams like Atlanta or Miami.

8p9s: He missed quite a few games during his stint with the Cavaliers. How much is this a concern going forward?

Magnotti: This could be an issue for Miles. Miles missed 26 of the Cavs’ last 27 games with a fairly significant ankle sprain, which he continually had setbacks with during his rehabilitation.

This is significant because players who suffer a significant ankle sprain are much more likely to reinjure the ligaments involved. Miles surely is getting good treatment this summer from Indiana’s medical staff, but this is the type of injury that can definitely linger.

However, plenty of players deal with chronic ankle issues and are able to remain effective (Stephen Curry and Wes Matthews are examples), and even if the injury gives him trouble in the future, it shouldn’t be as significant as it was this past season for him.

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