San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills continues to guide the Australian national team to success in the FIBA World Cup.
One way or another, point guard Patty Mills always influences winning for the teams he represents. Whether it be on a smaller scale with flailing towels and rallying cries from the bench or with game-altering jumpers, assists or defensive stances, Patty can be relied on to strengthen the group he represents.
Although we’re used to him supplying energy for the San Antonio Spurs, the last few weeks have been about rallying his comrades and country as face of the Australian National Team endearingly nicknamed “The Boomers.” Most recently, Mills’ leadership showed itself through a 22-point explosion to lead Australia past Senegal in the FIBA World Cup.
The 31-year-old Mills logged 33 minutes and left plenty of empty space on the stat sheet with only one assist and one rebound in the contest, but this fails to show the whole story. Australia’s group utilizes a similar style to the “Beautiful Basketball” Spurs, emphasizing ball and player movement within team-based sets instead of relying on isolation scoring or star power. As a byproduct of this coincidence, Mills has a tendency to pop off during international competition.
— NBA (@NBA) September 3, 2019
Patty, who was the only player to surpass six made field goals in the competition, took over the brunt of the workload as a scorer for his team because that’s what they needed from him.
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Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, an extremely Spursy player in his own right, dominated playmaking duties and just narrowly missed a triple-double with 17 points, 10 boards and nine assists including a few nice dishes to Mills. Because of Ingles’ exceptional outing as a passer, Mills adjusted within his role and provided the kind of spark that Australia needed to catch a win.
This is the type of attitude that can be expected from Mills in San Antonio this season – no matter what obstacles or rotations are thrown his way; he’ll do what it takes to help his team. With Dejounte Murray returning to the lineup and Derrick White coming into his own, Patty’s minutes are not secure within Gregg Popovich’s rotation for next season.
Regardless of how the next few weeks play out; Mills’ disposition will not waver. It’s a testament to his winning mentality and steadfast dedication to propelling his team forward. This is how the Spurs will continue justifying the large sum of cash dedicated to the backup point guard over the next two seasons.
Say what you will about Mills, but he will never stop instilling good values to the teammates that surround him and both the Boomers and Spurs are better off for it.