PHILADELPHIA Trying to prepare for his next game, Andre Miller appeared bored with the news. He was the Eastern Conference player of the week.
"It's cool," was about the best he could muster.
His eyes rarely met the faces of his questioners. The Philadelphia 76ers point guard simply stared ahead, studying game tape on the big screen.
"That's Andre," center Samuel Dalembert said. "He can be so serious. He's always a little quiet."
Quiet and humble. Miller is never the one with the colorful or catchy quote, and that's just fine with the Sixers (22-30) as long as he keeps finding ways to help them win. This suddenly hot team is in the hunt for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
"If you're not careful, you can overlook him," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "But the things that he does are so vital, so important to our team. All the things he does, they're winning things."
Not as flashy as the player he was traded for, Allen Iverson, the cool and collected Miller has provided a steady hand running the offense and seems to always makes the right play. While his scoring is up (averaging a career-best 16.7 ppg), Miller still looks first to his teammates, boosting the confidence of a fairly inexperienced rotation.
"Some of the recent success that we've had, a lot of it goes to him," Cheeks said.
Still, Miller, who turns 32 next month, is a bit of a mystery inside his own locker room. He's already been traded twice in a nine-year career, and his name still pops up in talk that he'll be dealt before the Feb. 21 trade deadline. While team president Ed Stefanski said he's not actively shopping Miller, contenders would surely be interested in a proven durable point guard.
More helpful has been his production all season, especially the last month. Miller, who has played in 418 straight games, averaged 19.5 points, 9.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds over the four-game stretch that earned him the player of the week nod.