During the 2013-14 NBA Season, Patty Mills, the Spurs sharp-shooter had the best season of his career. He averaged 10.2 points per game while also leading the team with 135 made 3-pointers in the regular season.
That same year during the Finals, in his last two games Mills averaged 15.5 points and hit nine three-pointers.
The end of that season, Mills was hit with a big blow. He was playing with a shoulder injury through-out the season. Not showing any pain towards his teammates, he was just out there to do what he could to keep getting them wins.
It was a week after the Spurs had won the NBA Title and Mills himself was raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy that the news hit. He had suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shooting shoulder. No one player ever wants to hear an injury so severe.
The timetable for the injury was set to be between six to seventh months. Mills stated to Lorne Chan of Spurs.com that this injury surely brought doubt into his mind.
“It was a long process,” he said. “There was a point after the surgery where that doubt comes in and you think things can go either way. I questioned myself on whether I’d be able to shoot the same. But that’s where mental strength and trust in those taking care of you come in.”
Nov 18, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills (8) shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Mental strength was indeed what he needed. During the 2014-15 season, his scoring was down as he averaged 6.9 points per game. Promising side of it, he still managed to hit 34.1 percent from beyond the arc (62 of 182).
He continued on to state the obvious, his health.
“It’s fair to say that I wasn’t at my full strength,” Mills said. “When I reviewed film at the end of the season, I wasn’t happy at all. I didn’t live up to my level of play.”
The end of the season was an abrupt end for the San Antonio Spurs and their quest of getting championship number six for the franchise. But for Mills, the offseason meant one thing, getting his shoulder back to 100-percent.
It is safe to say that Mills is having himself a great start to the 2015-16 season. He is averaging 8.5 points per game, 2.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets, Mills came out in the first quarter on fire. He hit three from beyond the arc and had 17 points from the game.
He is averaging around 21-minutes per game and does an amazing job running the offense and changing the pace of the game with the second unit. It is safe to say that Mills is starting to get back to his normal self.
Two years later from the shoulder injury, Mills is able to play at a high level without any pain.