After no games yesterday involving Australians, there were four today
The first game was Patty Mills and the the San Antonio Spurs taking on the Charlotte Hornets, with the Spurs prevailing 119-114 behind 30 points from Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard.
The third game involving an Australian was the Miami Heat taking on Aron Baynes and the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons made up for the loss last home game by winning 107-84 behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had a game high 22 points.
The fourth game for Australians today was the return leg of the Denver Nuggets taking on the Utah Jazz, home of Dante Exum and Joe Ingles. The Jazz exacted revenge on their last loss to the Nuggets, taking the game 108-83. This was only the second game that George Hill and Gordon Hayward have played together and they both scored 22 points to pace the Jazz. Jamal Murray, the rookie phenom scored 23 points for the Nuggets.
Patty Mill splayed just over 19 minutes in this cross-conference heavyweight match. I expect both of these teams to feature prominently in the Playoffs in their respective conferences. In those 19 minutes, Mills scored eight points on 2-of-4 shooting, including going 1-of-3 from distance. Mills was also perfect from the line hitting 3-of-3.
Mills also collected two rebounds, four assists and a steal in a good all round performance. Mills had the most minutes of any San Antonio bench player tonight.
Andrew Bogut was back after a one game absence due to being kicked in the calf and he was back to his old tricks. In just under 25 minutes Bogut only scored four points but that was on 2-of-2 shooting. Bogut also collected an equal game high 12 rebounds including four offensive boards.
True to Bogut’s abilities, he gave out six assists and stole the ball twice. Due to his physicality, Bogut collected five fouls.
Aron Baynes had one of his best games in a while against Miami. He played 18 minutes for four points on 2-of-2 shooting. This seems to be the hallmark of the Australian center today. Baynes collect seven rebounds and one steal.
Dante Exum saw a reduced role in today’s game against Denver due to the return of George Hill from injury, and aren’t the Utah fans happy to see him back. After leading the Jazz in minutes last game, Exum only played just over eight minutes today. In that time he missed his only shot, which was from three and committed a turnover.
Fortunately for the young Australia, his competition for the backup point guard spot, Shelvin Mack, missed all three of his shots. He did collect two rebounds and have an assist but neither backup played well today.
Mr Versatility, Joe Ingles played just under 13 minutes today in the win over Denver. He scored three points on1-of-3 shooting, but missed both his shots from deep. Ingles went 1-of-2 from the line.
Ingles collected four rebounds and had one assist. He continues to defy Utah’s increased depth chart and continues to get minutes.
Ben Simmons is still recovering from the Jones fracture operation that he had to repair his foot. His timetable for return is still unknown but is expected back in January.