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Utah Utes basketball: Former star Andre Miller wins his first playoff series

Former Utah Utes star Andre Miller is light years removed from his days when he ran Rick Majerus’ offense -- and led the Utes to a berth in the national championship game against Kentucky. Or is he?

Washington Wizards guard Andre Miller.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Miller is still doing damage in the NBA after all these years, using his silky-smooth delivery that NBA stars refer to as a "Y-game" -- as in a game you'd see at your local YMCA. And with that unpredictable but highly efficient game, he's helped lead the Washington Wizards to a first-round series victory in the 2014 NBA Playoffs this week over the Chicago Bulls.

Miller, who is now 38 years old, was in pre-school when the Wizards -- then the Bullets -- won their first playoff series in 1979. Above all else, this was Miller’s first playoff series victory in nine trips to the postseason.

Miller’s numbers may be dwindling -- after all, this is his 14th year in the league -- but he is still contributing to the Wizards success in some way, shape or form after coming over from Denver in a midseason trade. He averaged about four points and four assists per game during the regular season for Washington -- and is doing a bit better than those numbers in the playoffs.

Since he arrived from the Nuggets after a well-publicized spat with head coach Brian Shaw -- which he later publicly admitted was out of character for him -- the former Ute has struggled scoring the basketball. This is surprising considering that just last year, he was averaging 10 points per game in Denver.

But in Washington, he has been asked to do different things other than scoring, such as teaching players like John Wall and Bradley Beal how to play as efficiently at the guard position as Miller has done for almost 15 years now. If the first-round upset of Chicago is any indication of Miller's coaching acumen, it's working well.

That said, it’s obvious Miller is heading into the final phase of his career, having played -- going into the second round against either Atlanta or Indiana -- 1,184 games, which ranks him with the 35th most all-time. He has said numerous times he only wants to play until he turns 40 -- and with the Wizards the former Ute and future Crimson Club Hall of Fame inductee will get that opportunity.

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