There were three games in the NBA today involving Australians. It would have been four except for Andrew Bogut is still injured.
Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs hosted the Brooklyn Nets. San Antonio showed why they have the second best record in the entire league, smashing the Nets 130-101
Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and the Utah Jazz hosted the Sacramento Kings, a much easier match up than their last one against the league leading Golden State Warriors. Tonight they had two of their regular starting five back, rather than the one that they had against the Warriors and the result showed both these facts. The Jazz easily accounting for the Kings, 104-84.
Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker travelled to the nations capital to take on the Washington Wizards. Unfortunately for the Bucks they suffered their second loss by five points or less in a row, being beaten by the Wizards 110-105
Mills was finally not called upon to pull the Spurs out of a hole this season. He has been leading the second unit incredibly well, usually helping the Spurs get back into games after their starters get the team into a hole. Tonight, the Spurs only trailed after the Nets scored the first points. Other than that is was how far San Antonio.
Mills played a short 16 minutes tonight, that did not affect his scoring though. Mills scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He went 4-of-7 from deep. In a nice little cameo style game, Mills also collected four assists and three steals.
I have ceased to be amazed by what Joe Ingles does and now I am simply sitting back and watching the late blossom of a career. What a ride Ingles is taking us on. From his career high night against the Golden State Warriors where he scored 21 points, Ingles replaced the injured Rodney Hood in the starting lineup. Not a bad reward for the showing that he had against the Warriors. The incredibly impressive fact is that he bumped the seven time All Star Joe Johnson to the second unit. Such has been the quality of Ingles’ play.
So how did Joe respond to the incredible faith that his coach, Quin Snyder put into him? Well, lets just say that he provided the team with what it needed, Joe Ingles style. In a game high 37 minutes, ingles scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 3-of-4 from deep. He also collected six rebounds, four assists and a steal in a tremendous all round effort.
Exum is continuing to start in the absence of the number one Jazz point guard, George Hill. Exum had his best game in a little while, playing 22 minutes and scoring five points on 2-of-5 shooting. That is just a little better than the 1-of-11 shooting he had against the Warriors.
Exum also collected two rebounds, two assists and two steals in a good all round game. For me, the most impressive number for Exum on the night was that he only had one foul, meaning that if he was required to perform late in the game, the high foul counts that have plagued him in the last three games would not have been an issue. This means that Exum could have played so tight defense if required.
Dellavedova had his second below average game in a row against the Wizards. He played 31 minutes and scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting, on a positive note, going 2-of-5 from deep. Dellavedova also had two rebounds and four assists.
Once again Dellavedova was not the worst on the floor. Tony Snell went 1-of-6 and Jabari Parker had on off night with 3-of-8. Even superstar in the making Giannis Antetokounmpo whoalmost had another triple double was not helpful, turning the ball over seven times. The Bucks are suffering some growing pains but it is certainly not all Dellavedova’s fault.
I wish that I could say that this was Maker’s breakout game, that he showed all of his potential and played amazingly. There is no way that he could have showed anything in the two seconds on the court that he played. In fact he had not statistical impact at all except to be minus two in the plus/minus.