Similar to a WWE tag-team match, Patty Mills has waited patiently behind the ropes waiting to be tagged in to the ring as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.
His loyalty never wavered as the centerpiece to San Antonio’s bench and constantly supported the rest of his teammates throughout the 2013 postseason.
However, Mills may require another player to assume his duties as resident bench towel-waver.
Wednesday night, San Antonio fended off a familiar foe in the Memphis Grizzlies.
While this was merely one of eighty-two games to come, head coach Gregg Popovich put his new weapon on display in the form of Patty Mills.
The Spurs have plenty of shooters, especially ones that can drain the long ball. However, Mills is more than a shooter.
Coming off the bench to relieve Tony Parker, Mills contributed 12 to San Antonio’s 101-94 victory over Memphis.
While it was not a breakout game that will catch much wind with any of the major media outlets, Mills earned his newfound playing time.
Mills was a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, one of those three’s challenged by a foul that resulted in a four-point play.
Now what Mills did is not going to be eye-catching on the stat sheet, but if this any indication of what’s to come, Spurs fans should be excited about the post-Gary Neal era.
Parker desperately needs a consistent backup, and yes, it’s only one game. However, if he has the trust of Coach Pop to have the ball in his hands, then that should be good enough for Spurs Nation.
He definitely fits what the Spurs need in the backup role. He’s a quick guard that cut inside just as well as he can shoot the long ball.
Things were not going too hot for the Spurs, as they were rusty from the start. However, the Aussie gave this team the much needed spark as they outscored the Grizzlies 30-7 in the second quarter.
Mills is not new to the squad, but he hopefully is embracing a new role as San Antonio looks past last season and tries to find more ways to improve.
Without Neal in the rotation, Mills has more of an opportunity to make an impact. Though, what does this mean for the other guards in the Spurs’ arsenal?
Well, Cory Joseph probably will not be a big minutes guy in his third season. And it’s hard to find Nando De Colo a place with the current roster.
It has to be aggravating for those young guys, but Mills was in that position. However, it seems like over the summer, he has gained the trust of the staff and is ready to run with the big boys as San Antonio begins their 2013-2014 season.
Mills should be tested more on a national stage in a road environment Friday, but San Antonio’s model is not one that is easily intimidated by opposing crowds., especially as one as hit-or-miss as the Los Angeles Lakers.
So Spurs fans, tell us, what did you think of Patty Mills’ opening night performance? Should this be the expectation or should the Spurs still open the door for CoJo and De Colo?