Photo: Peter Baba

Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford showered praise on rookie Brandon Miller, dubbing the No. 2 draft pick as one of the team’s standout players.

Clifford commended Miller’s impressive two-way skills, highlighting a recent 20-point performance where he arguably stood out as the team’s best player.

“He’s a really good two-way player,” expressed Clifford, per James Plowright. “He also just came off a game in the Garden where he had 20, and you could argue he was maybe our best player.”

Clifford emphasized Miller’s impact on the court, noting the team’s effective execution when he’s in play. The rookie has showcased his defensive prowess by guarding primary scorers on opposing teams.

Reflecting on Miller’s performance, Clifford remarked, “He’s pretty good at everything. He’s a really good competitor. He’s one of our best players.”

The Hornets coach revealed his initial positive impressions of Miller from watching his college tapes and spending time with him. Clifford acknowledged that the 21-year-old forward has surpassed expectations with his early contributions to the team.

“I was a big fan of his just watching his college tapes, having a chance to spend time with him when he came here. He’s far better than I thought he would be this early.”

Miller’s background, including his family’s sports legacy, was also highlighted. Clifford praised Miller’s resilient attitude, citing an incident in New York where he played through an ankle injury.

“He comes from a family where… the other night in New York, he turns his ankle in the first half, and they say, ‘Maybe you should sit out.’ He says, ‘Wrap it up,’ then went out and played. You don’t get a lot of younger players who are like that anymore.”

Additionally, Clifford emphasized Miller’s old-school approach to the game and his ability to quickly learn and adapt.

“He has more of an old-school type outlook on this game. The other thing which I think is so, so important is he learns very easily.”

Miller’s quick learning ability, attentiveness, and inquisitive nature when watching film were noted by Clifford as valuable talents. The rookie is averaging 14.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 30.7 minutes per game this season.