The Aussie invasion of the NBA is well and truly in swing.
If you weren’t sure about it, Sunday’s (AEDT) efforts will be enough to convince you.
Across the league, a number of Australians stood up and played pivotal roles for their respective teams, reminding everyone that we are a force to be reckoned with in the basketball world.
Three Aussies were on show in Philadelphia’s clash with Dallas, with 76ers duo Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden doing work, while Ryan Broekhoff had his breakout game for the Mavericks.
All-Star candidate Simmons was stunning, recording a triple-double by three-quarter time and eventually finishing the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. It was the 18th triple-double of his short career.
Ben Simmons has 18 career triple-doubles in 120 games in the @NBA!
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 6, 2019
He combined well with teammate Jonah Bolden, who recorded a career-high 11 points, while also pulling in nine rebounds and dishing out three assists in 29 minutes of action. His length and athleticism was on show and made it clear that he is well-suited to the NBA game.
Simmons to Bolden. Not the first, and won’t be the last. pic.twitter.com/BWZd927xo7
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) January 6, 2019
Despite the excellent performances from Simmons and Bolden, it was Ryan Broekhoff’s efforts that may have garnered the most excitement from Aussie hoops fans.
The former Frankston junior had been given little opportunity since signing with the Mavericks, but took his chance with both hands when coach Rick Carlisle gave him the nod against Philly. The 28-year-old finished the game with a career-high 15 points and three assists in 21 minutes and it certainly got the Dallas faithful excited.
RYAN BROEKHOFF AGAIN 🔥🔥🔥
AUSTRALIA POWER 🌟 pic.twitter.com/8bMGU8VPEi
— Dallas Mavs France (@DallasMavsFr) January 6, 2019
A BLOCK BY RYAN BROEKHOFF. pic.twitter.com/F6zgM97vlW
— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) January 6, 2019
Despite Broekhoff’s efforts, it was the 76ers who eventually won the game 106-100.
The Aussie onslaught wasn’t just limited to what went on in Philly, with plenty of others enjoying some success on Sunday (AEDT).
Over in Detroit, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum helped the Jazz knock over the Pistons 110-105.
Ingles was up to his usual tricks, recording 16 points on 6/11 shooting to go along with four rebounds. Meanwhile, Exum looked to be set for a huge game before he twisted his ankle and left the game. The 23-year-old had four points, five assists and two rebounds in just his eight minutes on the floor.
Exum’s injury isn’t said to be too serious, however he is expected to miss at least one game.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Aussie NBA success story without the Boomers’ heart and soul man, Patty Mills.
The point guard starred in San Antonio’s win over the Grizzlies, helping himself to 15 points (with just one missed shot) and four assists in just 23 and a half minutes.
All together, the Aussies combined for a total of 81 points on Sunday (AEDT), which is the second highest ever. The top mark is 86, which occurred last year on almost the exact same date.
Australians in the NBA combined for 86 points today. The largest ever 🇦🇺 scoring day in NBA history.
– Simmons: 26
– Mills: 26
– Baynes: 6
– Maker: 12
– Dellavedova: 8
– Ingles: 8
Patty & Ben also became the first 🇦🇺's to lead both teams in scoring in the 1 game.
— Tom Read (@traread) January 4, 2018
It remains a sensational effort, especially considering Aron Baynes and Matthew Dellavedova were both out due to injury and Thon Maker had a DNP-Coach’s Decision.
With Brock Motum and Jock Landale leading a host of Aussie big man starring in Europe, the 2019 FIBA World Cup in less than 9 months’ time is looking very promising for Australian basketball.
It’s happening, and there is great reason to get excited.