Patty Mills is lighting up the Brazilian sky in the 2016 Olympics. It is time for the San Antonio Spurs to turn him loose.
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He is averaging 20.5 points a game, shooting 48.3 percent from the field, and 37.5 perecent from 3 point land. He outplayed his Spurs teammate in a head to head match up when Australia faced off against France, and Australia won that game.
Mills was the games high scorer when the Aussies faced off against the United States, and narrowly lost by 8 points with Australia maintaining a lead heading into the 4th quarter. He is arguably an MVP candidate for these Olympic games including the United States plethora of star power.
So as a Spurs fan, what does that mean to the Spurs heading into this upcoming season?
Patty is 28 years old, and is a shooter from the word go! His hot shooting was a huge part of the Spurs undoing of the Miami Heat in the 2014 Finals. Mills cored 14 points in 16 minutes on 5 of 8 shooting in Game 4 of those Finals. In the Game 5 Finale against the Heat, Mills hit back to back 3
pointers in a monster 3rd quarter run that essentially put the game on ice, giving the Spurs their 5th Championship and Redemption.
Mills shot 6 of 10 in that game, totaling 17 points in 17 minutes.
Against the Clippers in the 2015 playoffs, Mills outplayed Parker throughout the series. In fact I was screaming at the TV, and live at Game 5 for Mills to be inserted more, and for Parker with a sore Achilles to be pulled out more. Mills played 14 minutes less a game in the series than Parker, and yet averaged the same amount of points (10), and shot 50 percent from the field and a blistering 57 percent from the three point line.
Parker was hobbled, so I don’t blame him, but for one of the few times, I thought Pop overplayed him and underplayed Mills who also hit clutch shots in road wins in Games 2 and 5, including two must have free throws to force overtime in Game 2.
In last season’s 2nd round showdown against the Thunder, both players didn’t play their best basketball. In the 1st round against the Grizzlies, they almost split minutes and the results were 20 points and about 7 assists a game between the two of them.
Those split minutes against the Grizzlies is what I would like to see going forward. Parker is 34, and on the decline, and Patty is only 28, and showing in these Olympics he can be the lead point guard for his country once again, and shine again in that role. When I think of the Spurs with two Bigs who can score down low in Aldridge and Gasol (as well as hit mid range jumpers), and a score from everywhere superstar in Kawhi Leonard, what do you surround them with?
How about two guys who Pop always gives the “Green light” to fire away, and can stretch a defense and make them pay for double teaming. I’m talking about Mills and Green. Don’t misunderstand me. I want Parker running the offense, penetrating and pushing it down the court whenever possible.
But, in the half court offense, having two great shooters, three with Leonard surrounding our “new two towers” of Aldridge and Gasol sounds like a pick your poison attack that gets me excited and should make Spurs opponents nervous. So here’s hoping Parker’s minutes come down some, and Mills minutes increase.
I think Patty Mills is showing the world, and Spurs fans, and hopefully Popovich, he is ready!