In the next of our month in review articles we take a look at the December that Patty Mills had
Patty Mills had a quieter December than November but it was still a quality month. In a year where Mills will be negating a new contract, he is showing that he is ready to run his own team.
Mills has been the general of the second unit and has done some amazing work in helping the Spurs stay second in the Western Conference. For the month, he has averaged 21.6 minutes, 9.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the month. His slash line was 44/42/85 which is an incredible line for a second string point guard.
It is important for Coach Poppovich that Mills plays for his second unit because of the chemistry that he has developed with players like David Lee, Jonathon Simmons, Dewayne Dedmon and Manu Ginobili. The movement that the second unit displays becomes incredibly difficult for opposing second units to defend.
Mills has also scored the basketball quite well in games throughout the month. He scored double figures in eight of the fourteen games played in December. He had a season high 23 points against his old club, the Portland Trail Blazers. Mills also scored 16 points in back to back games early in the month against the Chicago Bulls in a loss and the Brooklyn Nets in a win. This was after a 15 point outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Mills even hit the game-winner against the Houston Rockets, where the Spurs only won by two points.
Towards the end of the month, Mills had some quiet games that lowered his monthly average. Fortunately for the Spurs, the only sub ten point outing that Mills had that coincided with the Spurs losing was against the Los Angeles Clippers.
What makes Mills so dangerous is that he is not only a scoring machine but he is also a facilitator of some note, especially in the open court on broken play. His two man game with Ginobili is impressive, whether he or Ginobili score. They seem to have an understandiong that only the best ream-mates have. In the first game of the month he had eight assists in the win against the Washington Wizards. In the win against the New Orleans Pelicans Mills had seven assists. Mills also have four games with five assists. He did not have a game in December where he did not record an assist.
Mills was also an active defender with quick hands. In the win against Brooklyn, Mills had three steals. He also had five games where he had two steals. In fact, he only had four games where he did not record a steal.
Mills is fast becoming the best shooter that Australia has ever produced. I rate him higher than Andrew Gaze who many believe is the best pure shooter that Australia has produced. His numbers for December were not as good as Joe Ingles who is leading the NBA in three point shooting but he is still connecting on more than two out of every five attempts made.
Mills December was that of a man who is playing the basketball of his life. His play