Baynes grabs this week's headline with his back-to-back 18 point performances; it's great to see him actively involved in the Spurs' offense once more. Meanwhile, we've been busy covering our Aussies in the NBA so there's plenty to catch up on. Read on, have fun and leave a comment! Let us know what you think.
Top 3 video highlights
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mhRxYaIOjA Some great highlights this week! Slo Mo Joe just creates a magical pass to Booker, Bogut shuts down Phoenix in the paint and finally, Delly whips another great alley to Thompson for the slam.
Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)
A number of players have indicated their availability for the Boomers this year, Bogut being a notable name among them. His presence will definitely offer a huge boost to the team's odds against the Tall Blacks.
Bogey gave the Greek Freak a hard tap earlier this week in a bid to stop the transition bucket, and got whistled with a flagrant foul. The Warriors went on to win, but caution is needed when avoiding unnecessary fouls.
Bogey gets left out in the cold
After missing the high five from Justin Holiday during the Suns game, he had to resort to a self-five - hilarious! Bogut had to explain himself post-game about the moment of fun. Seriously folks, seriously.
People thinking I was serious with this high 5 attempt clearly don't understand my humour! Silly yes but serious no! https://t.co/n8JK1eHujG
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) April 3, 2015
[gfycat data_id="SadIllegalGerbil" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true]
NBA.com feature on Bogut's life with the Warriors
"He brings it every night on that end of the floor," Curry said. "Being our eyes. Just pestering bigs if they try to back him down, and protecting the rim. It's also helpful when he's aggressive on the offensive end, because we need that low-post presence from time to time. For him to be able to put his back to the basket and make some plays -- be an anchor of our offense too -- I think he feels more involved."
A great read from Steve Aschburner that discusses Bogut's reduced role with Golden State and the benefits it brings, Bogut's thoughts on adjusting to the Warriors after life with the Bucks, along with some Bogut quotes on how the team has fared so far.
Unsurprisingly, head coach Steve Kerr agrees on Bogut's undeniable value on defense. (Trivia: Dubs are 52-7 with Bogut, 9-6 without.)
"He's the anchor back there," coach Steve Kerr said Saturday in Milwaukee. "We have a lot of good perimeter defenders, long and active. They do a lot of switching, they guard multiple positions. Then Bogs is the middle linebacker. He's the one who's calling the signals and just anchoring everything, and protecting the rim when people do get the ball in the paint." - source
The no-dribble handoff assist
Nothing too special, just your average center popping a bounce pass between the legs to get Curry an easy shot. It does seem like a very smart and efficient way to hand the ball off though. The guard gets the ball, the big man immediate provides a hulking screen that the defender has to get around.
[gfycat data_id="JovialFittingHalcyon" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true]
Bonus: Bogut's blog on NBA Australia about returning to Milwaukee, among other topics.
Aron Baynes (San Antonio Spurs)
The Big Banger led the Spurs in scoring (!) against the Magic, surely this counts as a momentuous milestone! A balanced mixed of scoring and rebounding, topped off with a perfect performance from the charity stripe. Don't miss the video highlight!
And, he did it again
The big Aussie, Aron Baynes, was on fire last night, contributing 18 points in 19 mins as the Spurs beat the Nuggets pic.twitter.com/wkugPVXOLw
— The Pick and Roll (@PickandRollAU) April 4, 2015
And, yes he pulled another 18-pointer again, against Denver over the weekend while taking less shots, in less time, along with two steals and a block as well. A fantastic performance against a Nuggets team that had looked very alive right after their coach's departure, and seemingly deflated once more.
Here's the video highlights of Baynes' second 18-point performance, courtesy of Alistar as always:
Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls)
Cam logged 2:43 in a blowout victory against the Knicks with an empty stat line. In a 111-80 win, against a Knicks team that featured Andrea Bargnani as their best player. The Bulls outscored the Knicks for three quarters running; surely that's a good enough reason to let your rookie see more court time?
Then again, maybe this is Thibs' idea of increased playing time. Cam averaged one minute of play in his last four games before New York. Stay strong Cam, keep working hard.
Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)
Our lad showed some real aggression on offense against Denver this week. He was relentless, yet clear-minded in sharing the rock when the opportunities presented themselves. Head coach Quin Snyder sounded very pleased with the performance, and offered some positive comments.
I wasn’t surprised as much as I was pleased. We’ve seen flashes of that. Tonight the game slowed down a little more for him and it was really good to see. - source
After countless moments of Exum spotting up for the open three, we're finally seeing a new wrinkle emerge. Behold, the stepback jumper.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) March 31, 2015
Warning: watching bricks could cause conflicting emotions of hope and unease to the reader.
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
The title was a jest from Jingles, who tweeted it right after a hot shooting night against Denver. The quote is obviously a bit of fun, make no mistake - he's definitely got some swag in that swish. Jokes aside, Ingles also shared his thoughts about Enes Kanter's outspoken comments on the team.
It was a bit unexpected. We all as players, staff and obviously the fans had a good relationship with him. I mean we were practicing with him, sitting next to him in the locker room, everything was good.
He was a nice guy, I have nothing against the guy personally at all. And then to hear that kind of stuff is pretty disappointing after you’ve spent such a long time with someone. It did hurt and shows his immaturity a little bit. We all talked about it and used it as a bit of motivation. We appreciate him for that win [against OKC].
... To attack the franchise, the fans, the team, coaches when none of its true anyway is a bit silly.
Rodney Hood's injury earlier in the week prompted some speculation about whether Ingles would replace him as starting guard, as statistics seem to show that Exum tends to perform better with Big Joe around.
My guess wasn't too far off the mark, and Ingles did start alongside Exum in the Nuggets game.
Don't miss Jingles showing off some good old basketball basics, with that nifty long bounce pass from the half-court line to a scrambling Booker in transition. (Spoiler: Booker dunked, but you probably already guessed that.)
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Delly had a sizzling fourth quarter against the Heat this week, and made all four of the threes he took in that frame. Sharpshooting aside, he also displayed the trademark Delly hustle on defense, and a great lob play to Tristan Thompson.
What lob? We've got it covered right below.
Last week, Delly talked about how fun it was throwing lobs to his big men, and we can see it's getting addictive. Not that the Cavs would mind. Some great point guard play from the Outback Jesus to get his teammate TT the one-handed oop!
— Matthew Dellavedova (@matthewdelly) March 27, 2015
Delly shares a smoothie recipe
Just in case you guys out there were running out of inspiration.
A photo posted by matthewdelly (@matthewdelly) on Mar 31, 2015 at 3:34pm PDT
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Patty has also indicated his availability for the Boomers this year, providing another potential veteran boost to the coming qualifiers. With Ingles out, this is very welcome news.
Patty's minutes taken away by Joseph?
Patty has been shooting quite poorly; he has gone for a combined 4 of 22 shots over his past five games, and only 2 of 14 from deep. He did however, make up for it in his recent games by contributing to the rebounding and assists columns. The energy and effort on both ends is still there, it's just the shots that aren't falling.
While it doesn't look like Cory Joseph's definitely overtaken Patty's spot on the bench, the two have been competing for leftover minutes. We know the core guard rotation is going to be Parker-Green-Ginobili, sprinkled with a generous serve of Belinelli. It's left to Cory and Patty to take the remainder. The Spurs have the luxury of a deep five-guard rotation, and for Patty to be relegated to the fifth guard spot might be mean sporadic sightings in the postseason.
Nevertheless, Pop has always been a meritocratic coach, who rewards those that deserve his trust. It's not impossible to imagine him inserting players who have been less used, especially playoff-hardened ones like Patty. All that remains is for Patty to stay ready, keep his hand hot and hope for a return to 100%.
A flop warning
Patty also received a flop warning from the league, for an exaggeration on contact against Mike Conley. What can I say, the fall did look a little overboard. Gotta tone it down mate.
Game schedule for the week featuring Aussies in the NBA
We are using an embedded Google Calendar format, which would hopefully make it much easier for all of you to keep track on when our favourite Aussies in the NBA are hitting the court!
Game schedules courtesy of NBA on ESPN.