Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, what a busy few weeks it’s been. If you were like me on Boxing Day you were flicking between the marque NBA games and the Boxing Day test (did the Aussies really win in two and half days?), which is as good as it gets for a sports nut.
It’s still pretty quiet on the ‘Aussies in the NBA’ front. Andrew Bogut is still out with his ankle injury which is becoming more concerning by the minute, as 7 days off has turned into 7 weeks, with no expected return date in sight.
The Golden State Warriors are still playing some incredible basketball without Bogut, going 7-3 over the last 3 weeks (20-10 for the season) and sitting 5th in the Western Conference (who would have thought?), which is a marvellous effort without the big man.
Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs continue on their merry way, with Mills seeing mixed court time and results, but still doing enough to show that he is a pretty decent point guard in the best league in the world.
The Spurs are 6-4 over the last few weeks (23-8 for the season) which still has them sitting third in the West, just behind OKC and the all-conquering LA Clippers.
As I mentioned in my last piece, Mills has been playing more in the spot-up shooter role when he’s been on the floor, rather than running the offense from the point guard position. And although he’s put up some pretty good numbers with limited court time (averaging 5.7 points, 0.7 assists and 50% from the field in just 11 minutes), I’m not convinced that he’s suited to this role and that it’s truly maximising his talents. You just need to look at what he did in the Olympics for the Boomers to know that he’s more suited to run the point.
In their 112-106 loss to Denver, playing predominantly point guard Patty provided a spark off the bench and went 5-8 from three (totaled 15 points) with 2 steals and a +11 efficiency, which further supports the claim that he’s playing out of position at the two (take that, Pop!).
In the Spurs’ 107-93 loss to OKC he played predominantly off the ball and went 1-3 from the field with no assists, and in their 98-90 loss to Portland he went 3-6 from the field and again no assists. But to be fair, in their loss to Utah Patty Cakes played a sharp 6 minutes and had 8 points whilst mostly at the two.
So what do you guys think? Can Patty be successful playing as a scoring two-guard off the bench, or, should he be playing exclusively at the point?
Until next week, keep on balling Aussie style.