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Aussies in NBA: Is Patty producing consistently this season?
Patty Mills wasn't shooting the lights out from downtown against the Houston Rockets, but he certainly produced some solid highlights in the 130-99 win at home.
An overall stat line of 9 points (4 of 9 from the field, 1 of 3 from the 3-point line), 3 rebounds and 4 assists in only 15 minutes of game time, marked a well-rounded performance from the veteran Spur guard. He was playing with superb confidence, and had no hesitation on deciding whether to pass or attack, when the ball was in his hands. Among other highlights, he found Manu on a swift hard cut to the basket, and showed off a tenacious layup in front of Dwight Howard, banking it high off the glass to finish the shot.
This certainly isn't Patty's best game, but it certainly is a microcosm of what he could be doing, given a looser rein. This train of thought however, is still up in the air.
Consider this: six Spur players took 9 shots or more in this game against the Rockets, and every other one ended in double-digits. This includes the Spurs' newest big man, Boban Marjanovic, who hit 13 points, and Tony Parker (15), LaMarcus Aldridge (25), Kawhi Leonard (18), and Danny Green (18).
Let us look also at the season so far. Patty has not exceeded 30 minutes of playing time this season (current high 28 minutes), and had 26 games in which he played 20 minutes or more. Out of those games, he had 8 games in which he scored in double-digits, and his best game came in December last year against the Lakers, in which he scored a season-high 22 points at an incredible 81.8% rate, and clocked 3 rebounds along with 3 assists, and a steal.
Is Pop limiting Patty's minutes, possibly because he hasn't proven himself this season? With Corey Joseph's departure during the off-season, one might have thought that Mills would be given significantly more exposure, but that hasn't been the case so far. It's a topic worth keeping in mind at this point, as the Spurs' push towards the postseason continues.