After a seemingly endless off-season, the 2021/22 NBA campaign got underway for our Aussies in the NBA with a five-day Week 1 of action ending on Monday in Australia.
Five Aussies took to the court, with Jock Landale and Josh Giddey making their long-awaited NBA debuts while Patty Mills balled out as a Brooklyn Net for the first time.
3 Games, 2 wins, 12.3pts, 2.7reb, 2.0ast
Patty Mills’ start to his Brooklyn Nets career could not have gotten off to a better start, shooting a perfect seven-of-seven from deep to accumulate 21 points in the season opener where he was the Nets’ second-leading scorer behind Kevin Durant.
He continued his impressive shooting form a few days later against the Philadelphia 76ers, again shooting perfect from three making all three of his attempts to go along with 11 points for the game.
Mills became the first player in NBA history to open a season 10-of-10 from three, passing his previous record in which he made eight straight to start the 2013/14 season.
In all three games Mills has come off the bench playing 30 minutes where he is providing valuable shooting and ball handling duties in the absence of All-Star Kyrie Irving.
3 games, 0 wins, 9.7pts, 5.0reb, 4.7ast
As is the case with many rookies it took the number six pick sometime to adjust to the NBA game. Giddey showed off his ability to impact in a variety of ways in his first game against the Utah Jazz leading his team in rebounds with 10.
While he has struggled shooting the ball in his two opening games, the passing ability and court vision he showed during his 2020-21 NBL Rookie of the Year season with the Adelaide 36er’s has been on full display.
He then exploded for 19 points in 34 minutes of action against the 76ers and showed off array of pull-ups, catch-and-shoot triples and hard-drive layups.
OKC will be buzzing about Giddey’s opening week in the NBA, showing he can match it with the best already.
3 games, 2 wins, 3.0pts, 2.0reb, 1.3ast, 2.0stl, 1.3blk
Having nursed a shoulder injury that kept him out of most of the pre-season, Thybulle’s impact offensively has been minimal over Philadelphia’s opening three games.
On the defensive end, the NBA All-Defensive Second Teamer from last season has been elite, showing his ability to guard multiple positions. Thybulle showed off his defensive prowess against the Pelicans in the 76ers’ opening game, grabbing four steals and finishing with a plus/minus of +15.
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2 games, 2 wins, 7.0pts, 1.5reb, 1.5ast, 50% 3PT
The eight-year NBA veteran continued from where he left off last season as one of the best sixth men in the league with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists on 62 per cent from the field and 57 per cent from three in Utah’s opening game against Oklahoma City.
Ingles was unable to have much impact in Utah’s second game, getting ejected in under six minutes with a flagrant 2 foul for unnecessary and excessive contact against Kings guard Davion Mitchell.
While there was no malicious intent, the NBA has cracked down on any contact with airborne players. The Kings rookie played out the game after the incident.
2 games, 1 win, 0.5pts, 0.5reb, 0.5ast, 0.5blk
Landale only managed to get court time in two of the three San Antonio Spurs games over the opening five days, where he has mostly played small minutes at the end of quarters.
So far the star Boomer has only played five minutes of NBA basketball, however was able to put up his first NBA points in the Spurs opening game against the Magic via a free throw. He also managed a rebound, assist and block in that same game.
Landale will most likely get little minutes and have to slowly prove himself to see his game time increase while he sits behind Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks in the centre rotation.
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