Patty Mills may have wanted a supporting concert with Brooklyn Nets a year ago, but she quickly found herself playing the lead – which unfortunately lasted for months – as injury, James Harden’s replacement and the absence of Kyrie Irving reduced Nets’ backfield.
While dealing with this last-minute “promotion” at the watch, the Australian sniper experienced some ups and downs.
Mills started his 13th season as a professional with a brilliant 21 points, where he scored 7/7. However, he ended it with a less memorable five-point performance as the Boston Celtics swept him and his teammates out of the playoffs.
In the end, neither of these situations was ideal for Netsi.
In the first game for Mills and dozens later, the Nets failed to star in Kyrie Irving. From an early age, Mills was able to tread the water, spending many of Uncle Drew’s planned minutes, but everyone knew what was ahead. If Mills did enough to keep Nets afloat, Irving had enough buoyancy to pull them out of the water and maybe even get into a speedboat – probably one of them headed straight to the NBA Finals.
As Irving continued to sit and be out during Joe Harris’ season, Mills put much more strain on his 33-year-old body … after taking Australia to his first basketball Olympic medal in early August. By March, Steve Nash put into words what everyone saw.
“I think Patty is tired. I think her legs have worked pretty hard this year. She’s played more minutes than ever before and we’ve been asking her a lot,” Nash Mills said of the workload throughout the regular season. we will hopefully get a little more normal rotation. “
The “bodies,” more specifically Irving’s, came back, but the damage was done. In one of the 13 games in the six weeks from January 1 to February 15, Mills played nine times for at least 30 minutes. He played twice. By the end of the season, Mills had played an average of 29.0 minutes per game, a 33-year high in his career.
Mills’ last game, as Gang Green ended the Nets season as unearthly as possible, was the Mills and Brooklyn season code. Although a number of reasons, including sloppy ball handling and questionable coaching, led to the early playoffs in Brooklyn, the insufficient length of the team, embodied by Mills and Goran Dragic, was also a key factor. The 6’1-inch mills were constantly fitted to players a inch taller and tens of pounds heavier.
No one accuses Mills of Brooklyn from 2021 to 2022. year campaign. Nor should they. In fact, Mills deserves more praise than most for staying with Nets in a season that included more drama than Our days in life marathon. He was the most resilient on the Net, playing in all but one of Net’s regular season games.
How durable? Although Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving scored more points per game, neither scored enough to qualify as a top scorer. Millsi’s 11.4 points per game turned out to be the highest number for a qualified player.
Although he said last summer that he signed the opportunity[play] for something every day, ”he no doubt expected what to grind in 2021-2022.
But now that Irving is more than likely extended and Ben Simmons, Joe Harris and Seth Curry recover after surgery, things are should return to the original plan that Sean Marks had for him and what he originally registered for: a backup role with minutes that suit him better as an experienced veteran. This should help long-term Spur decide whether to stay. However, this decision represents something complicated for the franchise.
Mills currently has a $ 6.2 million player option for next season. At the same time, he can pass it on and test them in the waters of free agents with Netsi or another team. Brooklyn could use all the positivity he is currently getting. Let’s first look at the benefits of Mills if you decide to take it back with Nets.
In particular, Mills is the deadliest tool in his three-point waist belt. Last season, he hit 227 shots, short of D’Angelo Russell’s franchise record by just under eight, while surpassing Harris’ best 211.
This means that due to this wear and tear, it dropped significantly after the break between the stars. Although no one could be hot forever, Mill seemed to cool down like a melting iceberg. He entered the Star Play, shooting 41.9 percent from downtown, which even brought him a ticket to a 3-point race. But as the season picked up again, Mills hit just 33.1 percent by the end of the regular season. In the post-season, he raised it to 59.5 percent, but on much fewer attempts.
Going into the 2022-2023 season, revived Irving can guarantee that the Nets will see the old version of Mills, not the newer one – turning his potential return to Brooklyn into something to celebrate.
From there, Mills could re-ignite his game and keep the fire on this season. While Brooklyn certainly already has plenty of shooting opportunities, Mills’ ability to hit triplets is by no means bad or a luxury. Since Harris is expected to be healthy next season, working alongside Curry (45.0 percent), Kevin Durant (38.3 percent) and hopefully Irving (41.8 percent), Mills should look like a shooter who can stretch the floor and attack Brooklyn. open. elite distributor Simmonsis.
Speaking of Simmons, Mills’ role as an Simmons mentor or even simply a supporter is intangible. After Simmons’ rough change of address from the City of Brotherly Love to the Church District, Mills quickly began defending his partner Aussie and a new teammate last February.
“I’m behind him,” Mills said to Simmons. “I’ve always been behind him and now I have the opportunity to be with him.”
Mills’ support for Simmons dates back a long time, long before their Brooklyn days. When Simmons refused to play at last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, Mills reiterated his support for the Melbourne-born ball handler.
“The most important fact and characteristic of our group is how we support each other for good, bad and ugliness, whatever it is, and Ben is no exception,” Mills said. “Whatever he does, I and the team will continue to support him because it’s a safe place – everyone needs to know and understand that now more than ever, we need to support Ben on his journey.”
Mills could be crucial for Nets. His roles now include not only shooting skills, but also the help he can provide to make Simmons feel comfortable on and off the pitch, a more welcome and familiar presence for Simmons to help him re-develop.
The value of Mills’ leadership is not limited to his relationship with his compatriot Aussie. He was selected as the winner of the NBA Sports Championship Award this season based on the votes of 300 NBA players. This is not a trifle.
The Nets have already learned from DeAndre Jordan’s experience in Brooklyn that keeping a guy just because he likes the stars of the team is not a good representation. Not to mention that Patty Mills has proven that she has a lot more left and DeAndre Jordan! In order for the Nets to chase their first Larry O’Brien trophy, Simmons must be locked and loaded, and any assistance Mills offers in delivering this product is worth the money.
All that said, are there any negatives? In the following season, the Nets repeatedly struggled to curb the multifaceted Celtics attack. Full of 3- and D-talents and an initial line-up that was better than 6’6 on average, Boston was able to maintain its greedy defense while penalizing the other end of Brooklyn.
The Nets fought Boston. They scored an average of just 34.0 table games this season – the least of any play-off teams. Should backfire be more important than keeping shooters in this off-season? Can you do both? The Nets just didn’t have enough players on their list to hide enough boards … and their current guard is not long enough to disturb the shooters.
You don’t point your finger at your guards if your team has a rebound problem. But if Mills were to leave this year, his departure can let Nets finally shut down the leak that has sunk their ship for two years in a row. Netsi fans may wish Mills and his exciting kick back, but the team needs a long, changeable and aggressive defender who can play significant minutes.
So the question is, will it pay off to keep one of the better shooters in the game – an increase in strength already established – if it somehow limits Nets’ need to start correcting its obvious mistakes. (Assuming the Nets don’t get injured by their shooters again this season!)
Ultimately, however, it is up to him to decide whether or not Mills himself wants to play another season with Nets. After all, it’s the player’s choice. Does he still consider Brooklyn a place where he can “play for something every day” even after the sweep of Boston … and all the other problems Nets hit this season? We’ll get an answer by the end of the month, maybe before.
In the meantime, Mills will finally have time to rest and recover, following the brutal schedule of the Olympics and NBA basketball. Earlier this month, he was back home in Torres Strait, Australia, to celebrate Mabo Day in honor of his great-uncle, activist Eddie Mabot, a man compared to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Whatever his decision, he has probably thought deeply about it.
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