WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Washington Wizards split up by position for meetings before facing first-round playoff opponent Chicago, starting guards John Wall and Bradley Beal listened while veteran Andre Miller spoke.
After all, Wall and Beal were about to make their NBA postseason debuts; the 38-year-old Miller was getting set for his 10th playoff series. At the time, though, all three had something in common.
"Dre was telling us he's been in the playoffs before, multiple times, but he never got past the first round," said another Wizards guard, Garrett Temple, "so it was going to be a little nerve-wracking for him, too."
The Wizards eliminated the Bulls in five games, and as Washington now waits to find out whether it will face Indiana or Atlanta starting Monday in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Miller finally gets to enjoy a series victory after a well-traveled, 15-year career.
No one in league history played in as many regular-season games (1,184) or as many postseason games (57) as Miller did before being part of a team that advanced, according to STATS.
Miller, like the rest of the Wizards, wants more, of course.
"It's satisfying for me," Miller said, "but now I think we could get to the conference finals."
Taken by the Cavaliers with the eighth overall pick in the 1999 draft out of Utah, Miller is now with his sixth professional team. He made his playoff debut at age 27 in 2004 with the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets, who featured rookie Carmelo Anthony and second-year forward Nene and lost in five games to Kevin Garnett's Timberwolves.
Miller's Nuggets were gone from the playoffs after five games each of the next two seasons, too. That was followed by first-round exits with the 76ers in 2008 and 2009, and with the Trail Blazers in 2010 and 2011. He was a starter for all of those teams, then was a backup when he returned to the Nuggets and endured two more brief playoff appearances in 2012 and 2013.