There was a time, just 10 months ago, when Mike Miller not only didn't think he would be in position to challenge for playoff playing time, but wasn't sure he even would be playing.

"I was very close to quitting," he said, as the Miami Heat turned their attention to Wednesday night's regular-season finale against the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena. "If I felt like I was going to be a liability for this team, I was going to."

Then came an offseason of rigorous rehabilitation on his balky back, followed by minimal playing time for the opening months of the season.

Now? "Right now," he said, "I feel great.

"The way I feel, I feel better than I have in the last four years."

He hopes the minutes will continue in the playoffs. He's certain he will be back on the court, somewhere, next season.

"I feel like if I'm healthy, which I am right now, that I can be very, very productive in this league, still," he said.
That's where it gets tricky. He was so certain he would be an amnesty release by the team this past offseason, a move that would provide the Heat significant luxury-tax relief, that he sold his Hillsboro Beach home. With the luxury tax becoming exponentially more punitive this offseason, he's braced for the impending playoff run being his final hours with the Heat.

"I mean, that's always going to be a situation with our team, if you look at the way our team was structured and is structured," he said. "With the new CBA, that's always going to be an issue, always going to be a topic. That's going to be completely up to them and they'll make the decision."