When ratiopharm Ulm signed Patrick Miller over the summer, the team surely expected to see an aggressive, athletic scorer who can take over games from the point guard position, as he did often for Partizan NIS Belgrade one year ago. After a few games, however, they were still looking for that version of Miller.
Through three games, Miller had not scored more than 6 points in a game and his performance index rating was a negative-3.3. Even after scoring 12 points in Round 4, he had not yet hit a three-pointer (0 for 4) and had committed more turnovers (10) than he had generated assists (9). All of that changed on Tuesday as Miller helped Ulm to an 83-82 victory over Germani Brescia Leonessa. And much of it came in a 10-minute stretch.
Miller took the game by the horns in the third quarter in which he erupted for 10 points, 3 assists and 2 steals for a PIR of 13. He assisted on Javonte Green's game-tying triple at 57-57 and soon scored 5 straight points to lift the hosts to a 62-59 edge. Miller produced one of the finest plays of the night late in the quarter when he chased down a teammate's missed three-pointer, dove to save the ball from going out of bounds and tipped it to Maximilian Ugrai for a jumper. Those types of athletic, hustle plays are game changers and the fans in Ulm let him know how much they appreciated the effort!
Miller was quiet for much of the fourth, but he was again there when he was needed. With Ulm up 1 and Brescia inbounding the ball with 7.3 seconds remaining, Jordan Hamilton bobbled the ball and Miller quickly grabbed the ball for a steal and the visitors never got to shoot a potential game-winner.
The guard finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals, all of which were season highs. His steals and performance index rating of 26 were both career bests. If Miller has found his spot and is back to his own dominating self, Ulm will be a very strong team in the second half of the regular season.