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Grizzlies' Miller wins NBA's Sixth Man Award


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MEMPHIS, Tenn. ? (AP) ? Grizzlies guard Mike Miller won the NBA's Sixth Man Award on Friday after making the transition from starter to key reserve.


Miller led the NBA in scoring off the bench this season, averaging 13.7 points. He ranked second in scoring for the Grizzlies and was second in rebounding with a 5.4 average. He also tied for third in assists.


Miller started last year but had no problem playing a backup role as the team adjusted to roster changes, Grizzlies president Jerry West said.


"His work ethic is second to none,'' West said. "I've never seen a player work harder in my life.''


Miller, in his sixth season with the NBA and rookie of the year in 2001, is happy with his new assignment.


"Mostly it's coming in to make an impact and when you leave the game you make sure you put your print on the game,'' he said.


The Grizzlies, 0-2 in their playoff series with Dallas, host the Mavericks in Game 3 on Saturday.


Miller came off the bench in 65 of his 74 games in the regular season, scoring in double figures 54 times. He scored 20 or more points 16 times and 30 or more twice. He had a career-high 41 points against Denver in March.


The award is a first for the Grizzlies franchise.


"It just goes to show that we had a good year as a team,'' Miller said. "Most times, if you look at the list,

all sixth men are part of winning teams.''


West shook up the roster in the offseason. He brought in Eddie Jones, Bobby Jackson and Damon Stoudamire, while Jason Williams, James Posey, Stromile Swift and Bonzi Wells moved on. Chucky Atkins joined the Grizzlies when Stoudamire left with a season-ending injury.


Coach Mike Fratello said he talked with Miller early in the season about needing him to play a new role because of the changes.


"(He said) whatever's best for the team is fine with me,'' Fratello said. "Not many people are not that willing

to give of themselves to help a team.''

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