Aussies in NBA: Patty’s mixed bag against the Heat

Patty Mills returned to his customary role off the bench as the San Antonio Spurs went down to the fast finishing Miami Heat in their preseason game 97 – 94 (box score). Mills finished the game with 6 points and 1 assist and 1 rebound in just over 18 minutes of action.

With the Spurs leading comfortably through three quarters, both teams pulled their main rotation players and the Heat reserves (spurred on by a surprisingly boisterous Miami crowd) outscored the Spurs 26 -10 in the 4th quarter to take the win.

The Spurs rolled out what is likely to be their regular starting five of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LeMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan and they looked formidable against the Heat starters.

Mills checked into the game half way through the first and was his usual bundle of energy on both ends, for good and bad.

It was positive energy on the offensive end, starting with a nice give and go with new teammate David West here:

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However, his enthusiasm caused him to over commit on defense and Tyler Johnson took advantage by getting on the end of a couple dunks from backdoor cuts that Mills had left open. Coach Gregg Popovich was clearly not thrilled with Mills' defensive efforts and pulled him from the court shortly after.

When Mills returned at the end of the second quarter, he hooked up with Manu Ginobili for a beautiful backdoor cut of his own:

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While he was getting to good spots on the offensive end, Mills' 3-ball wouldn’t go down on this night, missing some open catch-and-shot opportunities and finishing 0-3 from behind the arc.

His only points outside the point coming from this nice step-back jumper off the pick-and-roll:

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All up, It was a mixed night for Mills, with some nice moments on the offensive end and some not-so-nice moments on defense.