23/04/2024

Aussies in the NBA Week 24. Photo: @sixers, @NBA_AU/Twitter.

Both Matisse Thybulle and Josh Green saw their teams secure playoff spots this week as the battle for seeding heats up with just one week of NBA action remaining.

Our Aussies in the NBA did all they could this week to help their teams in the race for playoff spots, with Matisse Thybulle’s Philadelphia 76ers and Josh Green’s Dallas Mavericks locking up playoff spots.

It is beginning to get to the pointy end of the NBA season with this week marking the second to last week of NBA action.

Patty Mills

3 Games, 1 Win, 2.0pts, 1.0reb, 1.3ast

With just two weeks of the NBA regular season remaining, every game this week was a must win for Patty Mills and the Brooklyn Nets as they battle it out for seeding. The Nets this week guaranteed themselves a top 10 place in the Eastern Conference and therefore will be part of the play-in tournament.

The play-in tournament works by the seventh and eighth placed teams playing off with the winner becoming the seventh seed, while ninth and 10th place play off. The loser of seventh versus eighth plays the winner of the other match up with the winner of that game becoming the eighth seed.  

Brooklyn got off to a good start to begin this week, when they met the Detroit Pistons. Despite the Pistons putting up a strong fight, Brooklyn were able to get the win, 130 to 123.

Mills came off the bench to play 17 minutes, scoring the one shot he took for the game which was a three pointer to finish with a stat line of three points, one rebound and one assist.

Mills came off the bench again in the Nets following game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Aussie guard again scored three points as well as having one rebound, two assists and a steal.

Brooklyn ultimately lost the game to the Bucks in overtime by one point when Nets Allstar, Kevin Durant missed a potential game winning buzzer beater.  

The Nets closed out the week playing the Atlanta Hawks who are also battling it out for seeding in the play-in tournament, with both teams entering the game with identical records. Unfortunately for Brooklyn they ended up losing 122 to 115 despite Durant scoring 55 points.

With the loss the Nets dropped from the eighth seed to the 10th. Brooklyn now has just four games left in the regular season to try and improve their position.

Mills had a rough game shooting the ball against the Hawks, unable to make any of his seven shots to go scoreless for the game. He finished with just a single rebound and assist despite starting the game and playing 31 minutes.

Mills is currently experiencing a shooting slump having scored just four of his last 25 shots from behind the arc.

It was not all bad news for Mills this week however, with him being named as one of the six finalists for the 2021-22 NBA Sportsmanship Award, which honours players who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

Matisse Thybulle

4 Games, 2 Wins, 5.5pts, 2.5reb, 2.3ast, 2.3stl, 1.3blk

The Philadelphia 76ers got off to a slow start this week before turning things around as they look to secure a top three seed in the East. Defensive ace, Matisse Thybulle was at his defensive best all week long, disrupting opposing teams by cutting off passing lanes.

The Sixers opening game of the week was the highly anticipated match up with the Milwaukee Bucks who were just above them in the East. The Sixers held the lead for most of the game before the Bucks made a fourth quarter comeback to win the game 118 to 116.

Thybulle did not have much impact on the offensive end, only scoring two points, however made his presence felt defensively with two steals and a block.

Things did not get any better for the Sixers in their next game, falling to the Detroit Pistons by eight points. The game was one that the 76ers could not afford to lose, especially with the Pistons being one of the worst teams in the league.

Turnovers and a poor fourth quarter where Detroit outscored them by 14 points, were what costed Philadelphia.

Thybulle did a bit of everything in the game, scoring four points, having three rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

Philadelphia was finally able to get back to winning ways when they returned home to host the Charlotte Hornets, blowing them out by 30 points.

Thybulle had his most productive offensive game of the week, scoring 12 points on 71% shooting to go along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

The Sixers got another win in their final game of the week when they travelled to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers. With the win Philadelphia secured a playoff spot being guaranteed to finish as a top six seed in the Eastern Conference.

Thybulle played a major part in the win, getting a steal in the final seconds and then passing the ball to Tobias Harris for the easy dunk, giving the Sixers a five point lead with just seven seconds remaining.

Thybulle went on to score four points in the game as well as have three assists, two steals and two blocks.

Now sitting on 109 steals this season, Thybulle has set a new career record for steals in a single season, beating his previous record from last season of 105.

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Jock Landale

4 Games, 3 Wins, 3.8pts, 2.8reb, 0.0ast

It was a big week for Jock Landale and the San Antonio Spurs, winning three of their four games to now find themselves in 10th place and currently sitting in a play-in tournament spot.

San Antonio’s first game of the week came against divisional rivals, the Houston Rockets where they were able to just hold on to win by three points. Landale played his usual bench role, where he got 13 minutes of playing time to finish with three points and four rebounds of which two were offensive boards.

Landale could have had more of a scoring impact in the game, however struggled to get his shots to fall going at just 16% from the field.

The Spurs played another divisional rival in their next game, however were unable to get the win this time, when they hosted the Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio battled hard throughout the game but fell just short by one point, when Keldon Johnson was unable to make a go ahead bucket as time expired.

Landale played just four minutes in the game and was only able to contribute with one rebound.

The Spurs final two games of the week came against the Portland Trailblazers, both being played at San Antonio’s home. The Spurs comfortable won both games, the first by 19 points and the second by 21.

Landale was given more playing time in the first meeting, where he was able to score 10 points off perfect shooting from the field and grab three rebounds. In the second game, he only played six minutes, scoring just two points, and having three rebounds.

With just four games remaining in the regular season for San Antonio they appear to be in a strong position to make the play-in tournament, currently two wins clear of the 11th placed Los Angeles Lakers.

Josh Green

4 Games, 3 Wins, 5.3pts, 1.5reb, 0.3ast

The Dallas Mavericks had another strong week, winning three of their four games, meaning they have now locked up a spot in the playoffs.

Dallas opened the week playing the LA Lakers, where they put on a scoring masterclass. The Mavericks as a team scored 82 points in the first half and finished the game making 20 three pointers and shooting 43.5%.

Dallas led by as much as 37 points at one stage and eventually went on to win 128 to 110.

Aussie Josh Green got in on the scoring action, having 12 points off 62.5% shooting and chipping in with one assist in the 20 minutes he played off the bench.

Dallas continued winning in their next game when they meet the Cleveland Cavaliers, defeating them 120-112. Green was unable to have the same scoring impact, making just one shot to have a stat line of two points, four rebounds and two steals.

Dallas were on the road in their next game, playing the Washington Wizards where they got blown out by 32 points. The Wizards got off to a great start having an 11 point lead at the end of the first quarter, with Dallas never able to get back into the game from there.

Green came off the bench again to score four points on 40% shooting and grab one rebound.

The Mavericks final game of the week saw them on the road again, playing the Milwaukee Bucks, where Luka Doncic’s 32 point performance helped lead the team to victory. Despite the Bucks having 19 more shots as a team compared to the Mavericks, Dallas’ efficiency proved the difference, shooting above 50% from the field and above 40% from behind the arc.

With the game being close throughout, Dallas’ starters got the majority of the playing time, meaning that Green played just 10 minutes and was only able to contribute with a single three pointer and rebound in the six-point victory.

With the win Dallas secured themselves a spot in the playoffs and are guaranteed a top six finish thereby avoiding the play-in tournament.

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