In the second in our series of articles about Australians in the NBA for November we look at how Patty Mills is going
Patty Mills had a really good November. Mills was almost the barometer of the San Antonio Spurs. In a month where Mills averaged 11.1 points per game, when he did not perform the Spurs did not win.
The month could only be classed as a success for the Spurs. They went 11-4 for the month and stayed at the top of the Western Conference. The four games they did lose had a common theme, Mills was kept below ten points.
In the first game of the month against the Utah Jazz, Mills scored eight points, going 0-of-4 from distance.
The second loss was against the Los Angeles Clippers, Mills was held to just four points on 1-of-7 shooting. This was the second game in the month where he did not connect on a three pointer, going 0-of-3.
In a theme, the third loss was against the Houston Rockets where Mills was again held to eight points. He went 3-of-8 from the field but again was off the mark from deep, going 0-of-4.
The fourth loss that the Spurs suffered was against Orlando where Mills was kept to just seven points.
When Mills has been on, so have the Spurs. Mills had a 23 point game against the Dallas Mavericks where his shooting bought the Spurs back into the game. It would appear that he like splaying against Dallas because he also had a 17 point game against them in the five point victory. This means that Mills is averaging 20 points, three rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals against the Mavericks.
Mills also had a 19 point game against his first NBA franchise, the Portland Trail Blazers. The other performance of note for the month was the 16 point performance in the return game against the Utah Jazz, where the Spurs won it away and Mills showed that he is always going to be a threat.
Mills has been choosing his shots well, getting open for teammates to get the ball to. He is rewarding them by hitting those shots. From the field, Mills is shooting at 52 percent which is usually what you want your center’s to shoot at, considering how close to the basket they shoot from.
He has hit 58-of-112 from the field. From deep, Mills has had an incredible November. He has hit 25-of-63 which converts to a 40 percent accuracy. From the line Mills had an almost perfect November. He hit 26-of-27 free throws at 96 percent. To put the shooting for the month in perspective, his slash line is 52/40/96.
There are only seven players who have kept a 50/40/90 slash line over a season. These players are Larry Bird twice, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash four times, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Not bad company to join if he can keep these numbers up for the season.
Mills passing game has been on display throughout January. His 3.5 assists have been useful. He has also assisted at least one basket per game in November. His month high was in the two point loss to the Houston Rockets where Mills had ten assists. His shooting was off that game but Mills showed his use by getting the ball to teammates who were shooting at a better clip.
Mills had an amazing November and would have been my pick for Australian player of the month if I could give the award. Lets hope that his form continues.