15/04/2024

Aussies in the NBA October. (Photo: @okcthunder, @Suns, BrooklynNets.)

With the NBA season returning to action our Aussies made sure to showcase their skills over the opening month of the season.

With fresh faces to the league, returning names and players on new teams, our Aussies showed the development they had made over the offseason having big impacts early for their teams.

Ben Simmons

6 Games, 1 Win, 6.2pts, 6.5reb, 7.3ast

After not playing a single NBA game last season, Ben Simmons made his return to the court this season, making his Brooklyn Nets debut against the New Orleans Pelicans in the team’s season opener. Unfortunately for the former All-Star his debut game did not go to plan, finding himself in early foul trouble which limited his ability to impact the game.

Simmons finished the game playing 23 minutes before he fouled out where he recorded four points, five rebounds, five assists.

The 26 year old was able to bounce back in the Nets second game scoring 6 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and having eight assists against the Raptors.

Simmons again found himself in foul trouble when the Nets travelled to Memphis to play the Grizzlies, fouling out for the second time in three games. Simmons played 28 minutes before fouling out, with his exit from the game coming at a crucial time, with the Nets trailing by six points with just under four minutes left to play. While he was able to get his teammates involved with 8 assists, he also had five turnovers while only scoring seven points.

Simmons was able to showcase his strong defensive and playmaking ability over Brooklyn’s next three games, however he struggled to score at an efficient rate, looking hesitant to shoot at times. Against the Milwaukee Bucks, Simmons had four points, five rebounds and nine assists along with a single steal and block.

In the Nets overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Simmons played a pivotal role in taking the game to overtime, stealing the ball from Luka Doncic and proceeding to set up teammate Kevin Durant for a game tying dunk. Unfortunately for the Nets they were unable to get the job done in overtime going down 129 to 125. In a more positive game for Simmons and his defensive prowess, he finished the game with three steals.

The final game of the month that Simmons played in was his most productive, as he was able to almost get a triple-double when Brooklyn hosted the Indiana Pacers. The Aussie finished the game with nine points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

Simmons would miss the Nets last game of October being ruled out with left knee soreness.

Josh Giddey

3 Games, 0 Wins, 14.3pts, 8.3reb, 5.0ast, 1.0blk

Josh Giddey got off to a strong start to his second NBA season, recording a double-double in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first game. While the Thunder went down by seven points to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Giddey finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while also dishing off four assists and having two blocks.

Giddey backed up his strong performance with another double-double, this time against the Denver Nuggets. The guard put up 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists along with a single steal and block.

The Thunder next hosted their first home game of the season, playing the Timberwolves again but were unable to win going down 116 to 106. Giddey played just 22 minutes before leaving the game with an ankle injury where in that time he put up 10 points, two rebounds and five assists.

Giddey would go on to miss the Thunder’s final three games of the month being sidelined with an ankle injury.  

Patty Mills

7 Games, 2 Wins, 6.1pts, 0.7reb, 0.9ast

Patty Mills kicked off his 14th season in the NBA in style with a strong performance off the bench against the New Orleans Pelicans. Similar to last season, Mills was lethal from behind the arc scoring four three pointers to finish with 16 points in 23 minutes.

Unfortunately for Mills and the Nets, the team struggled to slow down the Pelican’s scoring, going down 130 to 108.  

Mills saw his minutes drop for the Nets next game against the Toronto Raptors, playing just 11 minutes however he was still able to have an impact scoring 10 points to help the team get its first win.

The 34 year old could not hit double digits in the teams following three games against the Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks. Mills scored just nine points in the three games, primarily taking his shots from three-point range.

The veteran guard saw his minutes drop significantly for the Nets final two games of the month, both against the Indiana Pacers, playing seven and six minutes. Mills was however able to make an impact in the first meeting between the two sides, scoring eight points despite the limited game time.

Dyson Daniels

2 Games, 2 Wins, 5.5pts, 1.5reb, 2.0ast

Having been picked with the eighth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, Dyson Daniels made sure to make the most of the opportunities he got over his first month in the NBA. Despite playing in just two games, Daniels showed plenty that should have Pelican’s fans excited at what he could develop into.

Daniels made his debut in the teams opening game of the season against the Brooklyn Nets, however got limited time on the court, playing just 3 minutes. With the Pelicans up big, Daniels came in to play the final minutes of the game where he was able to show his passing skills, recording two assists.

The 19 year old did not get any playing time in the team’s win over the Charlotte Hornets and loss to the Utah Jazz and finally was given his first real taste of NBA action against the Dallas Mavericks. Daniels played 22 minutes where he showcased all the skills that saw him rocket up draft boards.

He finished the game scoring 11 points on 80 per cent shooting, grabbing three rebounds and dishing off two assists, however what was most impressive was his impact on the defensive end, recording three steals and a block.

Daniels strong night was capped off by the Pelicans defeating the Mavericks by two points in a close battle, despite them missing Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Daniels would go on to miss the Pelicans remaining two games of the month against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers being sidelined with an ankle injury.

Matisse Thybulle

7 Games, 4 Wins, 1.3pts, 1.1reb, 0.4ast

Entering his fourth season in the NBA, defensive stopper Matisse Thybulle had to work hard early to earn minutes and regular playing time. With additions such as PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr to the team this season taking minutes off Thybulle, the 25 year old had to prove himself again.

Coach Doc Rivers opted to barely play him in the season opener against the Boston Celtics, a potential sign of things to come for Thybulle.

Thybulle got just 23 seconds of court time, with this not improving in the Sixers following game against the Milwaukee Bucks where he played just 18 seconds. This struggle for minutes continued over the next two games where Thybulle played a combined five minutes, unable to make much of an impact.

After not playing in the Sixers next game against the Toronto Raptors and with the team sitting at one win and four losses, Rivers decided to give Thybulle a bigger role in the rotation with his minutes increasing. Thybulle ensured to make the most of the increased playing time helping the Sixers to a 22 point victory when they played the Raptors again, scoring six points, having three rebounds and assists and getting two blocks and one steal in 22 minutes.

Thybulle was unable to have much of a scoring impact in the 76ers following two games against the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards however did his part on the defensive end. Against the Bulls Thybulle got one steal while against the Wizards he was active on the boards, grabbed five rebounds along with two steals.

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Josh Green

6 Games, 3 Wins, 5.0pts, 2.8reb, 0.8ast, 1.2stl

Entering his third season in the NBA, Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green continued to prove himself as a strong contributor off the bench to start his 2022/23 campaign. While he was unable to have much of a scoring impact to start the season, he was able to make an impact wherever the team needed him.

This was shown in the Mavericks opening game of the season against the Phoenix Suns where in 18 minutes Green had four rebounds – two of which were offensive, two assists and a single steal and block.

The guard’s next two games were uneventful, unable to fill up the box score, scoring five points against the Memphis Grizzlies and having two points and two rebounds when the Mavericks met the Pelicans.

When Dallas next faced the Brooklyn Nets, Green had a strong influence on the game in the 13 minutes he played, recording 10 points after going a perfect three of three from behind the arc. He also four rebounds, one assist and a steal to cap off a solid performance.

The following game was no different when the Mavericks meet the Oklahoma City Thunder with Green this time scoring six points, grabbing five rebounds and having four steals in 15 minutes.

To close out the month the Mavericks hosted the Orlando Magic, able to defeat them 114 to 105 with Green scoring six points along with two rebounds and a steal.

Jock Landale

6 Games, 5 Wins, 10.5pts, 5.3reb, 0.5ast

Jock Landale got off to a stellar start to the 2022/23 NBA season after joining the Phoenix Suns in the offseason following his rookie year with the San Antonio Spurs. The move proved beneficial for Landale who has found himself getting regular playtime as the team’s backup big man.

While Landale did not earn big minutes to start the season, playing just 10 minutes in the Suns season opener against Josh Green and the Dallas Mavericks, he soon saw his minutes increase with him able to show the impact he can have.

Following a seven point and six point game to open the season, Landale balled out in the Suns following four games of the season able to give valuable production and minutes.

When the Suns travelled to Los Angeles to play the Clippers Landale showcased his skills, scoring nine points off 50 per cent shooting along with 10 rebounds in a big 17-point victory.

Landale’s following game against the Golden State Warriors was even more impressive, with the 27 year old proving hard to stop on his way to scoring 17 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and having two blocks in 22 minutes.

While Landale was quieter in the Suns next game against the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring eight points and having two rebounds and two assists, he made sure to close out the month with another big performance.

Against the Houston Rockets, Landale had a very efficient scoring night, dropping 16 points on 66 per cent shooting to go along with seven rebounds, one steal and one block.

Matthew Dellavedova:

2 Games, 1 Win, 1.5pts, 0.0reb, 1.5ast

Making his return to the NBA this season to play for the Sacramento Kings, Aussie guard Matthew Dellavedova started this season as a rotation player, getting limited minutes off the bench.

Dellavedova did not receive any playing time during Sacramento’s first three games of the season which the team lost. Even when Delly did finally get some court time in the Kings 125 to 110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, he only got 34 seconds of playing time.

The Aussies would have to wait until Sacramento made the trip to Charlotte before he got any action on the court, however this time he played much more substantial minutes. Delly played 8 minutes against the Hornets, knocking down one three pointer to finish with three points along with three assists.

Jack White

2 Games, 2 Wins, 0.0pts, 0.5reb, 0.0ast

Having impressed in the NBA Summer League which saw him earning a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets, Jack White got his first taste of NBA action in the opening month of the season.

White made his debut against the Los Angeles Lakers, playing three minutes where he was able to get one steal. White played again in the team’s following game against the Utah Jazz, getting just over a minute of playing time where he recorded one rebound.

With the NBA G League beginning in November, White will likely spend most of his time playing there for the Nuggets affiliate team the Grand Rapids Gold.

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