If the Toronto Raptors had lost Game 1 against the Washington Wizards, it won’t have been for lack of C.J. Miles trying.
C.J. Miles did not come to the Air Canada Centre to mess around on April 14, 2018. Try as the Raptors might to do their single favorite postseason activity — lose Game 1 — Miles was not about to let that happen. As of post-time, Miles had 12 points in 19 minutes on 4 for 7 3-point shooting — half of Toronto’s total number of 3s. But what those numbers don’t show is that every one of Miles’ made 3s was also a vital momentum change.
Because let’s not forget: These are the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Playoffs, specifically Game 1. There was, at least and approximately, 15 lead changes. Momentum-changing 3s are crucial to keep a lead in hand or a win in sight.
Miles has been described as the Raptors’ hired gun, the new guy brought in to make shots when they matter most. So it might come as a surprise that Miles’ playoff record is painfully on-brand for his first post-season as a Raptor: 19.4 percent in 11 playoff games “since he became a 3-point specialist.” (He has a 37 percent average in the regular season over the same four years.)
Still, like the Raptors who uncharacteristically won Game 1, Miles did not let his postseason record get in his head. The dude came through and it’s name Wizards fans may come to rue.
Miles was drafted by the Utah Jazz straight out of high school in the 2005 NBA Draft. After a lengthy stint in Utah, and some dabbling in the then-D-League, Miles signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012 and the Pacers in 2014. Finally, and most important to the matter at hand, Miles signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Toronto Raptors in July 2017. And here we are.