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How Will Patty Mills Injury Impact The San Antonio Spurs?

By George Middleton
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Ever since a report came out in the first week of July on Patty Mills being out for seven months with a shoulder injury, there hasn’t been much talk on his progress. Mills signed a three-year $12 million deal despite dealing with injury as he played a huge part in the Spurs championship run.

In the regular season, Patty Mills was one of the more efficient guards in the NBA as he shot 43% from three and 89% from the charity stripe. Mills averaged 10.2 points in only 18.9 minutes. If the reports are accurate and he heals well, he should be back around the all-star break in February. While the Spurs are one of the deeper teams in the league, they will face one glaring question. “Who will replace the sharp shooting guard?”

It’s fair to say that no one on the Spurs bench is capable of doing what he did. What I mean by that is shoot with efficiency and play mistake free basketball (0.8 turnovers). We are talking about a guy who shot 57% from three in the NBA Finals, making more than 2.5 a game. With Tony Parker getting older, there is reason to believe that Patty Mills will have a bigger role than he did last year. Cory Joseph will be the guy that will have to step up. Joseph knows what it’s like to back up Parker as he beat Mills to the spot in 2012-13. Joseph averaged 5 points and 1.7 assists in 13.8 minutes last season. Joseph has a contrasting style to Mills, as he is a better passer and possesses more size. However, Joseph (28% career three-point shooter) isn’t nearly the shooter that Mills is. Joseph will need to focus on his shooting in the offseason as he isn’t a good enough slasher or playmaker to survive without a consistent shot.

The Spurs will certainly miss Patty Mills but they will definitely be a top four playoff seed regardless, but they will need him in the playoffs. Who knows maybe in two or three years he becomes the Spurs starter, as he has shown he can score in bunches. In two starts this season he combined for 46 points and eight triples.

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