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Denver coach laments rift with Miller

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) and Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller (24) talk with referee Tre Maddox (73) in NBA action, Utah vs. The Denver Nuggets, in Salt Lake City, Monday, November 11, 2013.

By aaron falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jan 13 2014 11:35PM
Updated Jan 13, 2014 11:35PM

Brian Shaw says he’s been impressed with Andre Miller ever since the point guard helped lead the Runnin’ Utes to the 1998 NCAA title game.

"I have nothing but respect for him. I’ve followed him since he was here playing for Rick Majerus," the Nuggets coach said Monday in Salt Lake City. "I was really a fan of his. I admired him from afar with that team with [Michael] Doleac and some of those guys … the fact that he could kind of will that team as far as he did."

Shaw is once again dealing with Miller from afar.

Upset about a lack of playing time, the 37-year-old Miller argued with his coach during a game Jan. 1. Miller’s suspension was quickly rescinded, though he has not rejoined his team.

"At this point he’s dealing with what he needs to deal with," Shaw said. "I’m focused on the team and what’s best for the team right now. As I’ve said, I’m willing to coach any and everybody who wants to put the team first."

Miller was averaging a career low in minutes and was upset after being benched during Denver’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

"It’s unfortunate what happened with us," Shaw said. "It’s tough when you get toward the end of your career and things don’t go the way they always have or the way you’d like them to. But right now everybody else on the outside has blown it up and made it a bigger deal than what it really is. Right now it’s pretty much between him and our front office and his agent to deal with what happens next. I’m just here dealing with our guys and our next opponent."

Hayward’s hip

After starting 37 straight games to start the year, swingman Gordon Hayward missed his second in a row Monday with a hip flexor injury. Still, no timeline for his return has been announced.

"He’s getting better every day," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "He’s a little better today than he was yesterday. We’ll just see."

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

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