Patty Mills may have wanted a supporting job when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets a year ago, but he soon found himself playing a major role – a role that unfortunately lasted for months – as injury, James Harden’s trade and Kyrie Irving’s absence exhausted the backcourt networks.
Dealing with a last-minute “upgrade” at the guard post, the Australian sniper has faced his fair share of ups and downs.
Mills started his thirteenth season as a pro with an impressive 21-point run as he fired 7 of 7 from outside the arc. He finished it off with an unforgettable five-point performance as the Boston Celtics knocked him and his teammates out of the playoffs.
Neither of these cases was ideal for the Nets.
In that first game for the Mills and scores after that, the Nets missed their star Kyrie Irving. Early on, Mills was able to walk in the water while eating the many minutes expected of Uncle Drew, but everyone knew what awaited them in the wings. While Mills did enough to keep the nets afloat, Irving had enough buoyancy to pull them out of the water and perhaps even transfer them to a speedboat—one would likely head straight to the NBA Finals.
With Irving continuing to sit with Joe Harris out of the season, Mills ended up putting more pressure on his 33-year-old body…after leading Australia to his first Olympic basketball medal in early August. By March, Steve Nash had put into words what everyone was seeing.
“I think Patty is tired. I think his legs have worked really hard this year. Throughout the regular season, he’s played more minutes than ever, and we have asked for a lot more of him,” Nash said of Mills’ workload with the bodies recovered. of natural rotation.
The ‘corpses’ came back, specifically Irving’s corpses, but the damage was done. In 13 singles games over the six weeks between January 1 and February 15, Mills played 30 minutes at least nine times. He played twice in 38. By the end of the season, Mills was averaging 29.0 minutes per game, a record for him at the age of 33.
That final game for Mills, with Jang Green ending the Nets season as unofficially as possible, was the coda for Mills and Brooklyn’s season. Although a variety of reasons including sloppy ball handling and some questionable training led to Brooklyn’s early exit from the playoffs, improper team length, exemplified by Mills and Goran Dragic, also became a major factor. The 6’1-inch treadmills have remained identical to players that are inches taller and tens of pounds heavier.
Nobody blames Mills for Brooklyn’s lackluster 2021-22 campaign. Nor should they. In fact, Mills deserves more praise than most for sticking with the Nets during a season marked by more drama than days of our life marathon He was the network’s most enduring, playing in all but one of the network’s regular season games.
How durable? Although Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving put in more points per game, neither of them got enough matches to qualify for the rankings among the top scorers. 11.4 Miles points per game turned out to be the highest number for an eligible player.
Although he said last summer he signed up for a chance.”[play] For something every day, “he was undoubtedly not expecting 2021-22 to become the grind.
But now, with Irving likely extending — and rehabilitating Ben Simmons, Joe Harris and Seth Curry from surgery — things should Go back to the original plan Sean Marks had for him and the plan he originally signed up for: a backup role with minutes that best suits him as a seasoned veteran. That should help Spear long to decide whether to stay. However, the decision presents a kind of franchise quandary.
As of now, Mills is sitting on a $6.2 million player option for next season. However, he can also pass it and test those he’s always tempted by free water, with the Nets or another team. Brooklyn can use all the positivity it can get right now. Let’s first look at the benefits of treadmills deciding to restart them with grids.
Above all else, Mills’ three-point shot is the most lethal tool in his service belt. He made 227 shots from last season, jumping just eight short of breaking D’Angelo Russell’s franchise record while passing Harris’ best mark, 211.
However, with this wear and tear, he suffered a noticeable drop in his efficiency after the All-Star break. Although no one can stay hot forever, Mel seems to be cooling down like an iceberg melting. He entered the All-Star Break shooting 41.9 percent downtown, even leading him to secure a ticket for the 3-point league championship. But once the season got back up again, Mills shot just 33.1 percent through the end of the regular season. In the post-season, he bumped it up to 59.5 percent, but in a much smaller number of attempts..
Heading into the 2022-23 season, a revived Irving could ensure the Nets see an earlier version of the Mills instead of the latest – making his potential comeback something to celebrate in Brooklyn.
From there, Mills can reignite his game and this time he keeps the fire burning all season. While Brooklyn certainly has enough marksmanship already, Mills’ ability to hit triples is neither a bad thing nor a luxury by any means. With hope that Harris is healthy for next season working alongside Curry (45.0 3 percent), Kevin Durant (38.3 percent), and hopefully Irving (41.8 percent), Mills should look like a bowler capable of extending the floor and opening up a Brooklyn attack. Along with Elite Dealership at Simmons.
Speaking of Simmons, Mills’ role as a mentor or even just a supporter for Simmons is an intangible one worthy of note. After Simmons’ rugged change of title from City of Brotherly Love to Borough of Churches, Mills was quick to defend his Australian and new teammate last February.
I’ve got his back,” Mills said when speaking at Simmons. “I’ve always had his back, and now I have the opportunity to be with him.”
Mills’ support for Simmons goes back a long time, well before his Brooklyn days. When Simmons declined to play in last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, Mills once again declared his support for the Melbourne-born ballplayer.
“The truth and number one feature of our group is how we support each other through the good, the bad and the ugly, whatever it is, and Ben is no exception,” Mills said. “No matter what he does, the team and I will continue to support him because this is a safe place – everyone needs to know and understand that now more than ever, we need to support Ben on his journey.”
Grinds can be critical to networks. His roles would now include not only his shooting skills, but the help he can provide in making Simmons feel comfortable on and off the field, a more welcoming and familiar presence for Simmons, helping him thrive once again.
The value of Mills’ leadership isn’t just about his relationship with his Australian teammates. He was chosen as the NBA’s Sportsmanship winner this season, based on a vote of 300 NBA players. This is not some trifle.
The Nets have already learned from DeAndre Jordan’s experience in Brooklyn that keeping someone just because they’re loved by the team’s stars isn’t a good job in the front office. Not to mention that Patty Mills has proven he has a lot left and DeAndre Jordan! For the Nets to chase their first Larry O’Brien trophy, they need Simmons locked and loaded, and any help Mills provides with this one will be well worth the money.
All that said, are there downsides? In the postseason, the Nets repeatedly struggled to slow the Celtics’ versatile attack. Full of 3D talent and a starting lineup that averaged better than 6’6″, Boston managed to maintain its stingy defense while also penalizing Brooklyn at the other end.
He struggled curling up on the glass while facing Boston. They’ve averaged just 34.0 rebounds per game this post-season — the fewest of any playoff team. Should the priority this off-season be to add rebounds rather than keep bowlers? Can you do both? The Nets simply didn’t have enough players on their roster to accumulate enough boards… nor did their current guards have enough height to annoy shooters either.
You can’t point the finger at your guards when your team is having trouble rebounding. But if Mills leaves this year, it will be his departure may be Allow the networks to seal a leak that has sunk their ship for two years in a row now. Nets fans may want Mills back and his thrilling shot, but the team needs a tall, convertible and aggressive defender capable of delivering important minutes.
So the question is: is it worth retaining one of the game’s best shooters – bolstering an already well-established strength – if it in any way limits the Nets’ need to start fixing their obvious flaws. (Assuming the nets never hit bowlers again this season!)
But ultimately, whether or not Mills himself wants to play another season with the Nets remains in his hands. It’s a player’s choice, after all. Does he still see Brooklyn as a place where he can “play for something every day” even after sweeping Boston…and all the other issues that have befallen the network this season? We’ll have our answer by the end of the month, maybe sooner.
Meanwhile, Mills finally got time to rest and rejuvenate after a grueling schedule for Olympic and National Basketball Association. Earlier this month, he returned to his home on Thursday Island in Australia’s Torres Strait to celebrate Mapu Day, which honors his great-uncle, activist Eddie Mapu, a man who has been compared to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Whatever his decision was, it was likely a decision he thought deeply about.