Aussies in the NBA: Exum clinches career high against Pelicans

It's almost Christmas, and everything is on a slow grind this week. Bogut is unfortunately out of action along with Mills, and Bairstow has gotten almost no show time. Ingles and Delly are quiet for varied reasons. Baynes is consistently performing, but Exum gets the spotlight this time with a career high against New Orleans.

This week's #TeamPnR highlights by Alistar Sullivan features Aron Baynes on the roll, Exum's sweet buzzer beating pullup 3 in transition, and more of those Ingles-Exum teamwork we like so much. Enjoy!

Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)

Injury: Initially diagnosed as tendinitis, later evaluated as bone edema and chondromalacia (runner's knee). Has undergone platelet-rich plasma therapy on 17 Dec 2014.

Estimated return: (UPDATED) No timetable set, possibly Jan if "all goes well" (source as of 19 Dec 2014)

Bogut had the knee drained earlier in the week and at one point was upgraded to doubtful for the game at Memphis on Tuesday. But before missing his fourth straight contest, Bogut said the knee was “giving out” and added he was no longer sure of the original diagnosis, which was changed to chondromalacia and bone edema.

(Bogut's agent) Bauman said it is clear to him now that if Bogut had known about the knee condition last week that he might have been able to return to action earlier. The platelet-rich plasma injection came after Bogut went on the recent three-game road trip in hopes of playing. According to the Warriors, an MRI exam conducted Dec. 10 — two days after the knee forced Bogut to leave the Minnesota game in the first quarter — revealed chondromalacia and bone edema.

Bauman said it was reasonable to conclude the Warriors in about a week would reexamine the knee to see how it responded the treatment. At that point, the team could continue to rest Bogut or have him receive another platelet-rich plasma injection. “It just depends how the swelling is, how the discomfort is and whether the knee has regained its mobility and strength,” Bauman said, adding that it was more important to have Bogut healthy for April, May and June rather than rush a return.

- Andrew Bogut’s agent addresses knee injury situation

The Grizzlies finally snapped the Warriors' winning ways this week, 105-98. Without Bogut, their interior was noticeably ill-equipped to deal with the Memphis offense, and an offensive drought from Curry (9/25 FG, 1/10 3P) only made things worse. Bogut has been a key player instrumental to their early season success, and all that matters is getting him healthy again - records matter not.

Bonus read: Andrew Sharp from Grantland did an excellent interview with Bogut recently on the entertaining as hell CoCo-gate saga, the team's evolution on defense and more.

On injury:

I ask Bogut whether injuries in the past change the way he prepares in the offseason. “People ask that, and I kind of find it tough to answer.” He laughs as he says this, but it’s an annoyed laugh. “I think most of my injuries, to be quite honest, 90 percent of them have just been unlucky. I can’t go and do weights and practice not falling off a rim and breaking my elbow. I can’t go and do a conditioning exercise to stop breaking my ribs. It’s not like I tore my quad or hamstring from being overweight or out of shape. It’s high-impact injuries because of the way I play.”

On defense:

“They know if they funnel a guy to the rim I’ll come and help them,” he says. “They can put more ball pressure on the perimeter. And our personnel’s gotten better. Draymond’s an all-league defender, in my opinion. Andre’s been an all-league defender. Klay’s gotten a whole lot better since his rookie year. Steph’s gotten better.”

- Chemistry, Context, and CoCo: Andrew Bogut Explains the Warriors

Off the court: Bogut voices his support for the parole system to be changed, in light of #SydneySiege.

Man what on Earth is going on in Sydney. Despicable. Life in prison no parole for the idiots responsible, set a hard line, no tolerance.

— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) December 15, 2014

Aron Baynes (San Antonio Spurs)

Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 15 Dec 2014 @POR 32 15 6/9 0 3/4 9 (2 off) 0 1 0 3 4 1 14 Dec 2014 @DEN 8 6 3/4 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 7 12 Dec 2014 LAL 9 2 1/1 0 0 4 (2 off) 0 0 0 0 0 -8

Aron Baynes fared well this week, with a solid 15-point (6/9 FG) performance against the Blazers. He's moving in rhythm, his teammates are finding him in the paint for easy buckets, and he's stepping up to those mid-range shots with confidence.

Baynes is also expanding his repertoire of options on the dribble hand-off (DHO.) Last week, it was a DHO fake that became a drive to the basket. This time, we have a DHO that caught his man unawares, when it straightened out into a Baynes jumper.

[gfycat data_id="ApprehensiveAggravatingCony"]

Gotta admit, I really like what he's doing here.

Baynes (along with fellow bench big Jeff Ayres) scored a DNP on the latest Spurs game, a triple overtime 117-116 loss against Memphis. Most of the big men minutes went to the Duncan/Diaw/Splitter core.

Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls)

Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 14 Dec 2014 @MIA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Bairstow did not see significant floor time this week. He checked in with less than a minute to go, when the Bulls victory was basically a done deal.

His presence however, is definitely appreciated. Head coach Thibodeau complimented Cam on his last appearance in the Nets game.

"He was ready to play, made some great hustle plays. I've talked a lot about Niko (Mirotic) and Doug (McDermott) and their attitude. Cam is right along with them. He's a great worker, great kid, studies, stays ready, not afraid. He did a very good job."

- Bulls much appreciate Mike Dunleavy's durability and steady play

Off the court: Bairstow emerged player champion at the team's annual bowling party, earning himself some swagger among the guys.

But in the end, @cbairstow41 prevailed as players' champion!

— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 17, 2014

Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)

Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 17 Dec 2014 @MIA 24 10 4/5 2/3 0 2 3 0 0 3 3 15 16 Dec 2014 @NOP 21 12 5/7 1/2 1/1 2 (1 off) 2 1 1 2 2 -11 14 Dec 2014 @WAS 12 3 1/2 1/1 0 1 2 1 0 1 0 -2 12 Dec 2014 MIA 15 5 2/4 1/3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4

Dante clinched a career high against New Orleans this week with 12 efficient points on 5 of 7 shots. His points came off a variety of options, including a three pointer, putback baskets and drives. A excellent milestone with a nicely rounded performance, well done!

Post by The Pick and Roll - Everything NBA.

There's an argument at SLC Dunk on getting Exum more minutes, but I think it all depends on the matchup. Against a fellow rookie like Shabazz Napier, you can see his relative ease in getting to the open jumper, as Napier goes under that screen and pays for it.

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Dante needs to get used to the competition, and I would like to see him pitted against bench opposition, versus getting eviscerated by the All-Stars out there.

That's not a knock on his potential however. Exum defended Wade surprisingly well, and look at how Exum blew by Jrue Holiday - surprisingly, without the Shot Destroyer (Anthony Davis) annihilating that layup.

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He has the physical tools to be a disruptive two-way player, but we're still in the early stages of a great project. At ease, I say.

Off the court: the rookie duo continue their Frozen backpack saga.

Apparently this is how Aussies roll?! @Joeingles7 @daanteee

— STEVE NOVAK (@stevenovak16) December 16, 2014

Yep Steve, that is exactly how we Aussies roll.

Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)

Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 17 Dec 2014 @MIA 14 0 0/2 0/2 0 2 3 0 1 1 0 -1 16 Dec 2014 @NOP 12 0 0/2 0/2 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 14 Dec 2014 @WAS 10 0 0/1 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -3 12 Dec 2014 MIA 11 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 -7

Ingles has had a tough week, making minimal impact on the stat sheet across four games. There's absolutely no question that he should be contributing more than a streak of five 0-point games.

It's not to say he hasn't made a difference however. Check out this play, where Ingles started the break, went up for an Exum-assisted alley, and instead unselfishly tipped it to an open Gobert for the easy dunk.

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“When I was in the air, I saw Nene coming pretty hard down the lane. I saw Rudy as well out of the corner of my eye,” Ingles said. “I thought it was him because he was the only big 7-foot-3 guy running around. (I was) just trying to play really.”

- Jazz's highlight alley-oop-tip-dunk play was a pleasant surprise

Ingles' shot attempts have taken a nosedive with limited minutes, and the challenge has to be for him to get into his rhythm and make the most of his opportunities out there, especially on scoring.

Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Date Team Mins Points Shots 3P FT Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks TO PF +/- 17 Dec 2014 ATL 21 6 2/7 2/6 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 -21 15 Dec 2014 CHA 12 0 0/2 0/1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 -6 12 Dec 2014 @NOP 24 0 0/5 0/5 0 5 (2 off) 3 1 0 1 2 -17 11 Dec 2014 @OKC 34 14 5/8 4/6 0 5 (1 off) 4 1 0 3 4 7

Delly had stomach issues and was vomiting before the Pelicans game, which left him struggling.

The Cavaliers did not manage to clinch a home victory against the Hawks, losing 127-98 to a red-hot Atlanta team that shot 65% from the field, and a Shelvin Mack who could not miss from deep (6/6 3P.)

Delly hit a couple of threes in the first half, including a Waiters kick out, and this wide open three from a killer LeBron crossover and dish.

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Unfortunately, Delly's shooting went cold during the third. Despite the poor shooting, he was playing with the trademark Delly energy and hustle, especially on defense against Korver. The effort however, meant little in a seemingly porous Cleveland defense.

Off the court: Let us all hope #SydneySiege is the last of its like in a long while.

Thinking of those involved in #sydneysiege - terrible situation. After seeing response #illridewithyou, proud to be Australian = #mateship

— Matthew Dellavedova (@matthewdelly) December 15, 2014

Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)

Injury: Surgery to repair torn right rotator cuff

Estimated return: Mid-Jan 2015 (source as of 18 Dec 2014)

Game schedule for the week featuring Aussies in the NBA

We are switching to 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.