On Sunday, Patty Mills made his season debut against the Houston Rockets. Mills has been out all season with a shoulder injury.
Mills signed a three year $12 million contract in the offseason with the Spurs. Mills averaged 10.2 points and shot 43% from three last season. In the NBA Finals Mills was fantastic, as he averaged 10.2 points and shot 57% from three in only 15 minutes a game.
In his season debut he had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 5 turnovers in 20 minutes.
Now that Patty Mills is back, why should the Spurs be excited to have him back?
–Point Guard Depth
With Tony Parker having missed time throughout the season with a hamstring injury, the Spurs need Patty Mills more than ever. Cory Joseph has done a fantastic job filling in for Mills as the backup to Tony Parker, and he has even started 11 games. Joseph is averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4 assists as a starter.
With Mills back, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw can back to their natural positions, as Mills will shift to backup point guard. It also helps to have Mills, as the Spurs can afford to give Ginobili and Parker days off throughout the season.
As I mentioned before, Mills is a terrific outside shooter. He is a consistent shooter that can play off the ball as well as on the ball. Bench rotations consisting of Ginobili, Mills, Marco Belinelli and Diaw will spell trouble for opposing teams, as they can all shoot the ball well. It never hurts to add an efficient outside shooter to an already terrific shooting team. The Spurs shoot 38% from three on the season, expect that to improve.
Other than labeling him as a shooter, a way to describe Patty Mills is, as a hard worker. Defensively Mills gets after it, defending the opposing guard with full-court pressure. While Mills doesn’t have the tools (size, athleticism) that most good defenders have, he makes up for it with his tenacity and hard work.