Aussies in NBA: Mills impresses in first season start

Patty Mills has continued his hot start to the season, recording an impressive 18 points & 5 assists against New Orleans. He shot 6/9 from the field, while nailing four triples from deep.

With Tony Parker being rested, Mills stepped into the starting point guard position. He then helped guide the Spurs to a 98-79 win over the Pelicans. The most impressive feat of his first start of the season, was that he only had one turnover.

The Aussie got off to a blistering start, scoring the Spurs’ first 5 points, and then setting up the next 4. His connection with Pau Gasol was particularly impressive, with all of these early points being scored or assisted by the other.

Mills and Gasol continued to find each other throughout the game. Two months ago they were competing against each other for a bronze medal and now they look like one of the more in-sync duos in the league.

“It’s good to play with Pau and his ability to read and understand the game as well as pass.” the Aussie said.

The first half ended with a bang for Patty Mills. He received the inbound pass with 4.1 seconds left, sprinted down the court, stopped on a dime, and went nothing but net from beyond the arc.

It capped off a great first two quarters for Mills, going into the break with 13 points. The Spurs didn’t look back from there, going 28-15 in third quarter. The big lead meant that Mills, along with the other San Antonio stars, didn’t see the court in the final period.

With this performance Mills again stakes his claim for an increase in minutes and/or elevation to the starting lineup. Especially considering he scored more in this game, than Parker has in the past two games combined (13).

The Pelicans are missing regular starting point guard Jrue Holiday, however Mills’ performances still holds merit. All eyes will be firmly set on Gregg Popovich and what he decides to do in regards to his point guards.

In his post-game interview, Mills made note of the two different styles the bench and the starters play with. But said his style of game remains the same.

“Overall no (to a change in style), it’s got to be the same mindset, and understanding what your strengths are.”

Mills was in high spirits answering questions after the game, and provided the reporters with an entertaining post-game interview.

Full highlights

Matt Hickey

Written by

Ringwood Hawks forward, guitarist/singer/songwriter, and contributor to The Pick and Roll.

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