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Aussies in NBA: Exum makes his return
Dante Exum made his comeback to competitive basketball during the preseason opener between the Utah Jazz and Portland Trailblazers.
It's been a long wait on the sidelines for Exum. He was forced to miss his second NBA season and the Rio Olympics while he recovered from an ACL injury.
He finished the game with 6 points (2-of-5 FG, 2-of-3 3PT), 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 22 minutes of action - but the main takeaway here is that he looked bigger and as athletic (if not more) than he was prior to the injury.
Beginning the game on the bench, Exum entered the court with 2.56 left in the first quarter.
Initially he played off the ball, while the Jazz’s new acquisition George Hill ran the point.
When Hill was subbed out, Exum was left to run the team with the second unit.
He was tentative looking for his own shot early, but was able to knock down his first basket before the end of the half.
Shortly after checking in during the 3rd quarter, Exum connected on his second 3-pointer after some good movement off the ball.
Encouragingly he then began probing the defense with some drives into the paint. Unfortunately, he didn’t attack with his own shot on many of these forays; instead preferring to dish off or pull the ball back out.
After the game Exum voiced his frustrations with his game. However, it's clear he understands that in the grand scheme of things the result here was a positive one.
“It was a frustrating one for me, but I think it was good just to get out on the court and get a run in. That was the most important thing,” Exum said.
“We’ll look at film tomorrow and see what I can do better because there’s a lot of stuff I can improve on.”
Exum will be in action again this Thursday the 6th of October at 1pm (AEST) vs the Phoenix Suns.