Untimely aberration. That's what the Nuggets are hoping Andre Miller's performances in the previous three big games were. Yeah, it happened in Games 79, 80 and 81 (leading up to the NBA playoffs), but the optimist says it's just a blip — instead of a harbinger.

Miller has played pretty well this season as the Nuggets' reliable backup point guard, averaging 9.7 points and 5.9 assists. But in the aforementioned three games, heading into Wednesday night's blowout of Phoenix at the Pepsi Center, he was only 5-for-27 from the field and had 10 assists and six turnovers.

Miller is 37 and is heading into perhaps the most important postseason of his career. Miller, incredibly, has never won a playoff series. But he has a great opportunity to do so with the West's third-seeded Nuggets.

"I can't deny the last couple games he's looked a little tired, a little slower. But in general this season, he didn't get to that zone of fatigue as much as he did last year," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "I thought he was crisper and healthier for most of this season, even in back-to-back situations. I remember the Oklahoma City game. It might have been his best game, and that was a back-to-back where you thought he might not have the edge."

Across the league, Miller's "point guardness" is praised. The guy just gets it. He understands the nuances of the position, getting scorers in position.

"He brings a change of pace and also gets everybody easy shots," said Ty Lawson, Denver's starting point guard. "Times when we're struggling, not hitting 3s or getting to the basket, he sets someone up for an easy dunk. So he's huge coming up in this series."