Nothing grabs the headline quite like Matthew Dellavedova's return. He's already making an impact on his second game back, and led a late game charge that ended in a home victory.
No surprises here! Our Top 3 highlights for the week features the Ingles-Exum duo, and more of Delly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8M396CDKnI Read on for more of the latest goings-on for our Aussies in the NBA this week.
Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 08 Dec 2014 @MIN 2 0 0/2 0 0 4 0 0 2 1 0 4 06 Dec 2014 @CHI 27 4 2/7 0 0/1 12 (7 off) 3 2 0 3 1 12
After a roaring start to the season, Bogut left the Timberwolves game early with an undisclosed right knee issue, that was later revealed as tendinitis.
Andrew Bogut said he doesn't think his right knee tendinitis will be a big issue in the future, but it completely locked up tonight.
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) December 9, 2014
This is likely the critical juncture, where the Warriors must do everything in their power to keep Bogut healthy. The postseason is but a distant goal at the moment, and there's no pressure for him to play heavy minutes. The Warriors thankfully, made a wise decision in resting Bogut for the Rockets game and continued to roll regardless, extending their franchise-best win streak to 14 games.
After getting a steal, Bogey went coast-to-coast for a layup! He avoided what could have been a charge call, stopping on a dime and finishing with a sweet finger roll.
Bogey cleaning up the glass and dunkin' dem back in!
Bonus: check out Bogut's latest blog entry on NBA Australia, where he talks about life on the road, the Warriors coming together as a team, challenges ahead and more.
Aron Baynes (San Antonio Spurs)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 10 Dec 2014 NYK 21 10 1/4 0 8/8 5 (2 off) 0 0 1 2 5 3 09 Dec 2014 @UTA 12 2 1/1 0 0 6 (2 off) 0 0 1 0 5 -2 06 Dec 2014 MIN 20 5 2/2 0 1/1 5 0 0 2 1 3 14
Baynes got a nod for the start this week along with Pop's decision to rest Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Leonard. Speculate all you want on his regard for a Melo-less Knicks, but it does underline his confidence in the bench guys. The Spurs won 109-95, shooting an incredible 52.6% from the three (10 of 19) despite sharpshooter Danny Green's 1 of 6 performance from deep. The Big Banger was bangin' against Sam Dalembert and Amar'e Stoudamire, and more than held his own this night.
Close, but no cigar
Aron had a nice little play in the first quarter of the Knicks game. He handed the ball off to Green, ambled over to set a pick, and abruptly flipped the screen. That caught Shumpert off guard, and got Danny Green the switch. The ball then went to Diaw, who rifled it in to Baynes. Baynes had established deep position in the paint, but chose to instead kick it out to Belinelli, who was not open - the pass was off and went out of bounds.
Such a shame! I would have liked to see him go against Dalembert with more aggression.
Baynes did not fare as well during the Spurs loss to Utah, having limited minutes due to foul trouble. He had a more positive impact against the undermanned Timberwolves, contributing to a balanced Spurs offense that saw 7 players in double figures.
The test drive
An interesting developing wrinkle, would be Big Banga's drive, refer to the below sequence. It looked like he was about to perform the usual dribble handoff, but surprisingly took a dribble inwards and went for the layup, getting fouled in the process.
Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 10 Dec 2014 BKN 9 0 0/3 0 0 2 (2 off) 0 1 0 0 1 1
The Bulls' decision to rest Joakim Noah ultimately led to Cam's game minutes against the Nets. He entered the game in the second quarter and was paired with Pau Gasol. Bairstow did his job on the offensive glass, but unfortunately missed all of his shots, which included a really good look at a short baseline jumper.
Credit to Cam for a hustle play, where he stripped the ball from Mason Plumlee on the post. That steal got the ball to Rose, who threw it up court for a speedy Butler layup.
The Bulls ultimately won 105-80 at home, where the Nets shot just 33% from the field and 21.4% (3 of 14) from the arc.
Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 09 Dec 2014 SAS 16 6 2/5 2/3 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 6 08 Dec 2014 @SAC 16 2 1/3 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 7
Dante had a quiet night against the Kings, as the Jazz were overwhelmed by the Kings 101-92 in the final quarter with a massive 33-point surge. Exum fared better in the victory over San Antonio, where he contributed two timely threes, including a deep shot that Tim Duncan failed to get to.
Ingles and Exum turn defense into offense
This was how the other three pointer happened: Ingles stopped a fast break layup, charged up court and found a waiting Exum, who swished the easy three over Matt Bonner.
Always great to see the guys working together!
One observation from the Kings game - he's still very much learning his way on pick and roll defense. Exum has great length and uses it to cover ground easily, but grasping the right amount of space to go over/under is still a work in progress.
On offense, coach Snyder is looking for more decisiveness and aggression from our rookie guard.
“I’d like to see him be aggressive,” Snyder said. “I think at times there’s indecision for players, for Dante, where you’re not quite sure when to commit — should I shoot or should I pass it or drive it? I think some of that’s just experience, but we want to see him more aggressive.
“I told him at one of the timeouts, ‘you need to shoot the ball,’” he added. "There were some possessions where we didn’t turn it over, but we didn’t have a good possession so it’s basically the same as a turnover.”
Again, it's more of a finding a balance than anything else. While the Jazz offense is geared towards the open option, Exum needs to take his shots when they come, rather than staying cautious and being a pass-first guard.
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 09 Dec 2014 SAS 15 0 0/1 0/1 0 2 1 2 0 0 2 5 08 Dec 2014 @SAC 7 2 1/2 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 -9
Ingles saw less minutes this week, especially against the Kings. Utah needed to field a defensive bigger lineup against Sacramento - a throwback, bruising team that eschews the three point, favouring instead mid-range jumpers and paint pounders. Trivia: only 17.8% of SAC shots attempted were threes, and they rank dead last on three point shots attempted.
During the Kings game, Jingles had a nice little give and go play with Gobert that freed him up for a baseline jumper. His other shot of the night was a forced buzzer beater over the defense, which went awry. He seemed to be resigned to the role of lurking shooter once more, and the defense just didn't allow those open shots to happen.
Is spotting up the answer?
The subsequent Spurs game saw Ingles with more time. Like the Kings, the Spurs had a similar mindset on defending Ingles. Ingles' release isn't the quickest, and there was almost always a defender nearby to limit the open shot. It might be a sign that Ingles' role on the court has to change. He can't keep waiting for a shot. The team might need to involve him with more off-ball action and baseline cuts, if he is to make an impact.
Here's an interesting sequence that happened during the Spurs game. A failed Ingles/Kanter pick and roll play became instead, a baseline drive. Ingles found a waiting Exum on the opposite baseline, who drove again for a lob play to Gobert.
In my opinion, this is another option of how Ingles could be more effective - having him as the ball handler works. One way or another, I'd just like to see less camping on the baseline.
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 9 Dec 2014 TOR 21 6 2/4 2/4 0 3 (1 off) 5 0 0 0 2 12 8 Dec 2014 @BKN 16 2 1/4 0/1 0 3 (2 off) 3 0 1 3 3 3
Delly finally returns!
On a night where royalty was watching, his first shot of the night found nothing but air. Despite that, Delly was ready to play in Brooklyn. He scored his only basket of the night on a baseline floater over Nets big man Jerome Jordan, and filled up the rest of his stat sheet with 3 rebounds (2 offensive), 3 assists and one block.
The incredible night
Dellavedova's second game back had his trademark grit and hustle on full display, as his relentless defense sparked a comeback victory against the Toronto Raptors. Whilst his stat line didn't look the part, head coach David Blatt was impressed by Matty's impact on the floor, despite a fresh return from injury.
LeBron on the other hand, likened Delly's presence to that of Miami Heat's resident "pit bull" Norris Cole.
"I had Norris Cole on my team in Miami," James said. "He was the same type of guy. We called him the pit bull. You just put him out there on anybody and he's always going to be successful and know you can never discredit how he goes about the game and how hard he plays. You put him out there for 20 seconds and it will be the hardest 20 seconds he ever played, like he'll never play again... Everything they do won't show up in the box score but teammates and people that know the game know he made an impact."
Raptors game Q4 highlights
How good did Delly look in that game, you wonder? Our video co-ordinator Alistar Sullivan has compiled Delly's fourth quarter highlights just for you - enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-E1cIW9CNg Despite his lack of height and athleticism compared to so many others in the league, Delly's focus, energy and effort in making gamechanging plays makes us fans fall in love with the guy all over again. If this game is anything to go by, expect to see more of the Outback Jesus in the season ahead - he's definitely earned his minutes!
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Injury: Surgery to repair torn right rotator cuff
Estimated return: 15 Jan 2015 (source as of 23 Nov 2014)
This picture says all that needs to be said - great gesture from Patty.
Una foto publicada por Patty Mills (@balapat) el Dic 12, 2014 at 12:04 PST
If you've enjoyed reading our Aussies in the NBA recaps so far, we would really appreciate it if you could tweet or recommend this recap out to friends and family who might love the read. Help us get the word out there, that would mean the world to us. Thank you!
Game schedule featuring Aussies in the NBA
Subscribe to this embedded Google Calendar to keep track of our Aussies in the NBA!
Game schedules courtesy of NBA on ESPN.