Indiana Pacers: C.J. Miles Has Turned Into One Of NBA’s Best Shooters

Feb 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Miles(0) points during a game against the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Miles(0) points during a game against the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

When he first entered the league, Indiana Pacers wing C.J. Miles didn’t have much of a jumper. Now, he’s shooting a career-high from deep and stretching the floor for his team.

C.J. Miles, a wing player for the Indiana Pacers for the last three seasons, came straight out of high school. Not surprisingly, he didn’t have much of a jump shot once he started playing for the Utah Jazz.

Over 12 years, Miles has transformed from a liability into a legitimate threat from the outside.

Miles started his career in Utah after being drafted in the second round. He was young and totally inexperienced. He wouldn’t find consistent minutes until his fourth year in the league. During that time, Miles was primarily known for his athleticism and future potential.

It was definitely not his shooting. Miles shot less than 40 percent from deep all four of those years. Actually, he’s shot less than 40 percent every single year except for this season (41.7). He wasn’t even averaging one three made per game.

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It didn’t seem like Miles would become any sort of the 3-and-D player so many pundits had him pegged for.

Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers /

Indiana Pacers

Miles slowly gained more minutes and even began to start a lot for the Jazz. But his three-point shooting wasn’t the reason. His defense and all-around game helped him stick in a league where his three wasn’t respected.

Once C.J. Miles came to Indiana, he certainly became much more of a three-shooter, but only really in attempts and not makes. Miles averaged more than six threes attempted per game in his first two years for the Pacers.

Still, he shot less than 37 percent both seasons and hovered around 40 percent overall. Not great numbers for a shooting guard in today’s NBA.

Somehow, someway, Miles revamped his shooting this season. He might even be in the discussion for three-point specialists just outside the league’s top tier. As mentioned previously, he’s hitting a career-high 41.7 percent from deep (11th in the league).

That’s a full 2 percentage points better than any previous year he’s had.

Miles is also making a career-high 2.3 threes per game, good enough for 23rd in the league. He’s actually attempting fewer threes than previous years, but the uptick in consistency makes all the difference. Miles is finally the 3-and-D guy he was supposed to be all those years ago.

It just took him 11 years to do so.

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It should come as little surprise, but Miles’ shots are overwhelmingly taken from the outside. According to, attempts from deep are 64 percent of Miles’ shots now. That’s 3 percentage points higher than any other year of his.

Also, assisted baskets make up 95.2 percent of his threes. He’s not going to ever be a shooter to go off the dribble, but it’s key that he’s found a terrific spot-up game.

Continuing with that idea, Miles has become deadly accurate from the corners–30.9 percent of his threes are from that spot. He’s hitting a fantastic 52.8 percent there.

Miles turning himself into a three-point threat is extremely helpful to the Pacers. Other than Paul George, everyone else on the roster can be streaky from the outside. Jeff Teague has never been a consistent shooter there and no other Pacer is much of a scare.

Miles just hanging around the arc opens up plenty of space for his teammates.

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What once could’ve prematurely ended his career has now become his biggest strength. So many athletic, defensive-minded wings become obsolete as they get older. Not Miles. With his newfound shooting touch, C.J. Miles may have just found himself a new life in the NBA.