Patty Mills Must Step Up

By George Middleton

It’s been a few months since Patty Mills returned to the Spurs. After missing the first 31 games of the season with a shoulder injury it appeared that Mills was ready to pick up where he left off.

Last season Mills was as consistent as they come off the bench in terms of efficiency. In the season he shot 46% from the field and 43% from three, scoring 10.2 points a game. In the NBA Finals, Mills game rose.

Mills averaged 10.2 points and 1.6 assists in only 15.2 minutes. Those numbers aren’t anything to brag about, but his efficiency was. He shot 54% from the field and 57% from three. In games 4 and 5 he scored a combined 31 points and shot 9 of 14 from three.

Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) brings the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In the first 10 games this season Mills looked sharp posting 11.5 points on 43% field goals.

In the next 24 games Mills started to fall off, only averaging 6.7 points on 38% field goals.

It’s the last 10 games that has me thinking that Mills is on his way out of the rotation which can spell danger for the Spurs. He is averaging 3.3 points on 24% field goals. His minutes have taken a huge dip in the past few weeks but that is no excuse to shoot about 30% from the field in the last 34 games.

The Spurs might be as hot as any team in the league having won 15 of 18 games but the Spurs need Mills at his best to win it all. Cory Joseph has improved significantly this season but he still has ways to go as an outside shooter (14 threes).

I expect Mills to turn it around in the final 7 games as the Spurs will likely begin resting key players.

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