Sometimes, it’s about when you get hot during a season.
For Miles Thompson, that was the final eight games of the season.
The University of Albany alum didn’t start 2017-18 at his best. Over the first 10 games of the season, Miles had recorded only 17 points (9G, 8A). A lot of star players around the NLL got off to slow starts this past season, but this 1.7 PTS/GAME pace for Miles was concerning.
“When things started to settle down, the dust started to settle towards the end of the year, Miles was better,” Swarm assistant coach Dan Ladouceur said. “Some nagging injuries, as well. I don’t know if he was in the shape he wanted to be in from the nagging injuries, but I think his conditioning got better with the year, and, obviously, his productivity did, as well.”
That productivity boosted to 26 points (12G, 14A) in eight games, a 3.25 PTS/GAME pace that was nearly double his production in the first 10 games. Miles carried that into the East Division Finals and was the Swarm’s most effective offensive player in the Finals. His four goals were half of the Swarm’s production that night, and he tacked on an assist and six loose balls for good measure.
And because it wouldn’t be right otherwise, Miles got on SportsCenter Top 10 again in May with his patented and slick behind-the-back goal. If it feels like Miles gets on SCTop10 every season, it’s because he is. Ever since he was a rookie in 2015, Miles has made sure to have a highlight play on SportsCenter once a season.
Miles has a pattern of a strong season followed up by one where he’s less effective. If this is that down year, then Miles should be a force in 2018-19. That’s what the Swarm is counting on from him.
Best Game of the Season:
Dialed in | Photo Credit: Kyle Hess
Miles came alive in the East Division Finals. Of his eight shots, four went in for goals, and they were the kind of goals you expect from Miles. His very first one of the night set the tone.
Lyle Thompson had made a gutsy play to get the ball away from the Rochester defensemen and passed it to Randy Staats. Staats made a behind-the-back pass to Miles, and Miles, running forward to catch the pass, led Luc Magnan forward to his left before making a BTB shot that ricocheted off Knighthawks’ goaltender Matt Vinc’s right arm for a goal.
Anytime you’re scoring half the goals for your team, you’re playing on another level. It was a good reminder of the damage Miles can dish out when he’s dialed in and firing on all cylinders.
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