On the last day of 2016, there were three games in the NBA involving Australian and New Zealand Players.
Thon Maker and the Milwaukee Bucks traveled to Chicago to take on the Bulls. In the thir game that they have played recently, the Bucks again came away with the spoils with another large win 116-96
Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Los Angeles Clippers who are still missing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin through injury. The losing streak continued for the Clippers who have not won a game since the Paul injury, going down 114-88.
Joe Ingles and the Utah Jazz hosted the Phoenix Suns, and thanks to an Alex Len elbow to George Hill, the game was tighter than it should have been. The Jazz still prevailed 91-86 but George Hill would only see seven minutes of action thanks to the elbow of Len.
Again, Coach Kidd held Maker out for a long time in tonight’s game, only giving him two minutes at the end. I can imagine that this is only frustrating the Bucks fans as they want to see their number ten pick develop. From an Australian point of view, we want to see our players in action as much as we can and with the injuries to Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum and Ben Simmons, there are less players to watch at the moment.
Fortunately, Maker is making a habit of showing some skills when he hits the court and he is going to be a true unicorn in the league with his three point shooting and his shot blocking. Tonight he just hit one three, his only shot, so scored three points on the game at a perfect field goal percentage.
Adams welcomed back his team leader and offensive creator, Russell Westbrook tonight and certainly benefited from the return. In a game where the Clippers had to field their second unit as the starters, Adams had a much easier night than against Memphis.
He played 29 minutes, scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. He free throw shooting was a little better against the Clippers, hitting 3-of-5 from the line.
Adams also collected five rebounds, two assists and a steal in a night where Westbrook treated us to another triple double performance.
Having settled back into his bench role again, Ingles showed us why he was one of the better three point shooters in the NBA over the month of December.
Ingles got 23 minutes tonight, scoring nine points on 3-of-5 shooting. This included a perfect 3-of-3 from outside the three point arc.
In a statistical anomaly, Ingles did not record any other stats except for his three turnovers.