Rookie Miles shows he belongs
MODEST STATISTICS AGAINST UTAH DON'T TELL WHOLE STORY
By Marcus Thompson II
NEW YORK - With point guard Baron Davis in street clothes and backup Derek Fisher in foul trouble, Warriors Coach Mike Montgomery turned to an undrafted rookie.
And Aaron Miles, who earned a roster spot with his toughness and steady play, gave Montgomery what he wanted. He showed the poise that earned him the third-string point-guard job. He got the Warriors into the offense, put the ball in the hands of the key players and hustled on defense.
Miles finished with two points, two assists, two rebounds and a steal in just under 14 minutes Friday in a 91-85 loss to Utah. But his impact was much more noticeable than his statistics.
He started the fourth quarter and helped spark a 17-7 run to get the Warriors back in the game. He started things with his first career basket, driving for an easy layup a minute into the quarter.
Miles gives Montgomery flexibility with Davis out. Last year, forward Mike Dunleavy was third on the point-guard depth chart behind Speedy Claxton and Fisher. Montgomery's confidence in Miles not only keeps Dunleavy from playing out of position, but it also allows Fisher to continue to play off the ball down the stretch, a role he has assumed since late last season.
• Davis participated in about a third of Saturday's practice, including some scrimmaging. He reported no pain in the strained left hamstring and pulled himself out of practice after testing it out. He is still listed as a game-time decision.
• Forward/center Andris Biedrins didn't practice and is listed as doubtful.
• Rookie forward Ike Diogu taped a live interview on NBA TV's ``NBA Insiders'' on Saturday. He had the splint and soft cast protecting his broken left hand replaced by a padded glove.
``It's an ultimate fighting glove,'' Diogu joked.
• Miles will appear on ESPN2's ``Cold Pizza'' on Monday morning. He will appear every two weeks throughout the season as the show chronicles the rookie experience.
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