28/05/2024

Aussies in the NBA Week 16. Photo: @okcthunder, @BrooklynNets/Twitter.

Josh Giddey led the way for the Aussies this week, breaking records, reaching new personal milestones and being selected in the NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars game.

This week was all about Aussie rookie phenom Josh Giddey who won his third Western Conference Player of the month award, broke the franchise record for the most double-doubles by a rookie, scored his 500th career point, set a new career-high in points and was named as part of the player pool for the NBA All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars event.

Patty Mills also set a new season-high for three pointers scored in a season while Jock Landale battled concussion issues.

Patty Mills

4 Games, 0 Wins, 12.0pts, 2.3reb, 1.8ast, 1.5stl

Patty Mills continued to play whatever role was needed of him this week, as the Brooklyn Nets continued to struggle to win games.

The Nets opened the week meeting Western Conference leaders, the Phoenix Suns who at the time were riding a 10 game win streak entering the game. Again, the Nets were unable to win, going down 121 to 111.

With both James Harden and Kyrie Irving playing Mills shot attempts fell, putting up nine points for the game, along with a single rebound, assist and steal. Mills did however hit three shots from behind the arc, in the process tying his career-high for three pointers made in a season with 161.

Mills reached the milestone in 49 games, 19 fewer games than it took him during the 20210/21 season to reach his previous best. Currently, Mills is having one of his best shooting seasons of his career from deep going at 42 per cent.

In the Nets next game, they travelled to Sacramento to play the Kings but were again unsuccessful, losing their sixth straight game. Mills had another strong game putting up 14 points, making four three pointers along with three rebounds, assists and steals.

The Nets road trip continued, going to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Jazz, in what would be their seventh straight loss. The Nets were without Harden for the match up with him being sidelined with left hamstring tightness.

Mills finished the game with 11 points, one rebound, one assist and three made three pointers.

The Nets last game of the week came against the Denver Nuggets where things only got worse, losing their eighth straight game, 124-104, after being blown out in the second half. Mills had his worst shooting game of the week going at 35 per cent, finishing the game with 14 points as well as a pair of assists and steals.

Since Kevin Durant was sidelined with an MCL sprain the Nets have struggled, having not won a game in over two weeks and in that time have fallen from one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference to now seventh in the standings.

Josh Giddey

4 Games, 3 Wins, 17.0pts, 7.5rebs, 6.3ast

It was another action-packed week for Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey being recognised for his stellar rookie campaign with more accolades. Giddey was again named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month – for January – after averaging 13.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

This marks the third consecutive month that Giddey has been named the Rookie of the month in the West, making him the only player in Thunder franchise history to have won the award three times. During this month Giddey recorded his first triple-double, set a new career-high in points with 24 and had four double-doubles.

Giddey did not stop there achieving more milestones in the Thunders opening game of the week against the Portland Trailblazers. The Thunder were able to snap their seven game losing streak defeating Portland 98 to 81 after rallying back in the second half.

Giddey recorded his 11th double-double of the season when he dropped 14 points and 12 rebounds, along with four assists and a block. With his 11th double-double, Giddey set a new rookie franchise record for Oklahoma City for the most double-doubles in a season, beating Russell Westbrooks previous record.

In the Portland game, Giddey also scored his 500th career point and in the process became the youngest player since LeBron James to reach 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in their first 45 games.

The Thunder continued their winning ways when they met fellow Aussie Josh Green and the Dallas Mavericks, defeating them 120 to 114 in overtime. Giddey recorded another double-double, finishing the game with 14 points and 10 assists to go along with seven rebounds and two steals.

The Thunder made it three wins in a row when played the Trailblazers for the second time this week, defeating them 96 to 93. Giddey had another strong game putting up 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.

The records kept coming for Giddey this week with set a new career-high in points in the Thunders last game of the week against the Sacramento Kings. Giddey dropped 24 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field, the most shots he has attempted in a game.

He also made sure to get his teammates involved dishing off eight assists, as well as four rebounds. Unfortunately, the Thunder were unable to keep their winning streak going, falling by 10 points to the Kings.

This week Giddey was also named to the NBA All-Star Weekend player pool for the Rising Stars event set to take place in Cleveland. Giddey was part of a 28 man player pool that included 12 rookies, 12 sophomores and four G League Ingite players with Aussie Dyson Daniels being named as one of them.

Giddey and Daniels join Andrew Bogut, Kyrie Irving, Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova and Ben Simmons as the only other Australia born players to feature in the Rising Star game.

The 28 players were split into four teams coached by former NBA players with Giddey drafted to Team Worthy, coached by James Worthy which includes the likes of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Tyrese Maxey. Daniels was selected to Team Barry coached by Rick Barry and will suit up with Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and NBL alumni Jae’Sean Tate.

The Rising Star Game is set to take place on the 18th of February and will consist of three games with Team A vs Team B and Team C vs Team D with the two winning teams playing one another. The two playoff games will be a first to 50 points with the final game being played until a team reaches 25 points.

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Matisse Thybulle

3 Games, 1 Win, 4.7pts, 1.7reb, 1.3ast, 1.3blk

The Philadelphia 76ers were unable to continue their rise up the Eastern Conference standings this week despite Matisse Thybulle being solid again for the Sixers.

The Sixers first met the Memphis Grizzlies this week, where they were without their leading scorer Joel Embiid who was rested. Despite Embiid missing the 76ers were still able to secure the victory and in the process put a stop to Memphis three game win streak.

Thybulle made an impact where he could, finishing up with five points, making both of his two shots. He also grabbed three rebounds, had three assists and a single steal and block.

The Sixers next meet the Washington Wizards but despite Embiid returning they were unable to win, going down 106 to 103. Thybulle did not fill up the stats sheet, only having three points for the game, along with a rebound and two blocks.

The 76ers continued losing in their next game, falling to Josh Green and the Dallas Mavericks after a poor third quarter cost them, being outscored by 17 points. Thybulle again was unable to stuff the stat sheet despite still being impactful on the defensive end. Thybulle had six points for the game along with just one rebound, assist, steal and block.

To close out the week the Sixers met Eastern Conference leaders the Chicago Bulls in an important game to stay within reaching distance of the top teams in the East. They were able to come out victorious however had to do so without Thybulle who missed the game with shoulder soreness, an injury that has been plaguing him for the past few weeks.

Jock Landale

1 Game, 0 Wins, 2.0pts, 1.0reb

It was a rough week for Landale getting less playing time than usual due to suffering a concussion in the Spurs first game against the Golden State Warriors. During the second quarter a stray elbow from the Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga struck Landale in the head with the Aussie not returning for the rest of the game after the incident.

Landale played just eight minutes before the incident and in that time only put up two points and had a single rebound.

Due to being concussed Landale missed the Spurs following two games against the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets under the concussion protocols.

Josh Green

3 Games, 2 Wins, 4.7pts, 5.0reb, 2.0ast, 1.0stl

While Josh Green struggled shooting the ball this week, the Mavericks guard was still able to help his team in other ways through being aggressive on the boards, setting up teammates for buckets and on the defensive end.

To begin the week the Mavericks hosted Josh Giddey’s OKC Thunder but were unsuccessful, losing in overtime. Green played 19 minutes and in that time had five points, two rebounds, four assists and a block.

It was another Aussie on Aussie match up in Dallas next game as they welcomed Matisse Thybulle and the Sixers to town. This time the Mavericks had better fortunes knocking them off 107 to 98.

Green was unable to put up any points in the matchup, only taking the one shot attempt. He did however attack the boards in his 18 minutes of playing time to grab seven rebounds, the second highest amount on his team.

To close out the week the Mavericks met the Atlanta Hawks in a close encounter, where they were able to escape victorious despite key players getting into foul trouble. Both Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson had to sit for long stretches of the game, which allowed Green to get more playing time.

Green played 23 minutes, putting up nine points on 30 per cent shooting, but was impactful on the defensive end, having six rebounds, three steals and a block.

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