28/05/2024

Aussies in the NBA Week 25. Photo: @spurs, @BrooklynNets/Twitter.

It was the final week of the NBA regular season for our Aussies in the NBA with both Patty Mills and Jock Landale's teams able to lock in a spot in the play-in tournament.

With this week being the final week of the NBA regular season, our Aussies and their teams found themselves battling it out for seeding as they looked to lock in a spot in the play-in tournament or climb higher up their respective conferences for more favourable matchups.

Patty Mills

4 Games, 4 Wins, 9.3pts, 1.3reb, 1.8ast

With just four games remaining in the regular season for the Brooklyn Nets, every game was crucial this week for the team as they looked to finish as the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and therefore potentially need to play just one game to make the playoffs.

The Nets were able to successfully do this winning all four of their games to finish as the seventh seed and therefore will get home court advantage when they play the eighth seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament. The winner of the game will become the seventh seed in the playoffs.

If Brooklyn is to lose to Cleveland they will then need to play the winner of the Atlanta Hawks versus the Charlotte Hornets matchup, with the winner of that becoming the eighth seed in the playoffs.

The Nets earnt their first win of the week against the Houston Rockets, defeating them 118 to 105. Patty Mills returned to the starting line-up for the game, but his shooting struggles continued going at 25% from behind the arc.

Mills added six points to Brooklyn’s total as well as chipping in with three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Brooklyn was on the road for their next game against cross town rivals, the New York Knicks, where they won by 12 points. The Nets had to fight for the win, rallying back from 17 points down at half-time.

Being in the same division the Nets and Knicks played each other four times this season with Brooklyn winning all four games.

Mills stepped up for the big game, finding his shooting touch from deep, to hit five of his seven attempts to score 15 points as well as dishing off two assists and grabbing a steal.

Brooklyn have their toughest match-up of the week when they returned home to play the Cleveland Cavaliers with a win meaning Brooklyn would leapfrog them and become the seventh seed. The Nets did just that jumping out to a 15 point lead at the end of the first quarter to go on to win 118-107.

Mills came off the bench to add some scoring punch with eight points and an assist.

Brooklyn’s final game of the week and regular season was a must win if they wanted to hold onto the seventh seed and the home court advantage they had worked so hard for when they played the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers brought the game to Brooklyn, fighting until the end in a high scoring affair that saw the Nets come out 134 to 126 victors.

To cap off a career year for Mills, the guard did what he does best, scoring from three to finish with eight points, two rebounds and two assists in the 30 minutes he played off the bench.

Mills finishes the 2021/22 NBA regular season having averaged 11.4 points, 1.9 rebounds 2.3 assists and shooting 40% from three. This season Mills scored the most points and started the most games of his career as well as hitting a career best 225 three pointers.

Brooklyn will meet Cleveland on Wednesday for their play-in game.

Matisse Thybulle

3 Games, 3 Wins, 3.0pts, 1.7reb, 1.3ast, 1.3stl

As one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers continued their winning ways in the final week of the regular season, with Aussie Matisse Thybulle winning in all three games he played for the team this week.

The 76ers kicked off the week with a 131 to 122 victory over the Indiana Pacers, with Joel Embiid helping his team over the line, scoring 45 points.

The Sixers had a massive second quarter where they scored 49 points to take a 23 point lead into halftime. They however had to grind out the win, allowing the Pacers back into the game being outscored by 15 points in the third.

Thybulle had little impact in the 20 minutes he played, missing all five of his shot attempts to record a single assist and steal.

Thybulle would be unable to play the Sixers following game against the Toronto Raptors due to being ineligible because of his vaccination status. The 76ers would go on to lose that game by five points.

Thybulle returned to the 76ers lineup for their next game, however was demoted to the bench in favour of Danny Green as the starter. The Sixers would meet the Pacers again and this time win much more convincingly by 13 points.  

With 24 minutes of playing time off the bench, Thybulle was able to contribute with two points, two rebounds of which both were offensive boards, two assists and two steals.

For the 76ers final game of the regular season they met the Detroit Pistons with All-Stars James Harden and Embiid being rested. Thybulle was back in the starting lineup for the game, putting up seven points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in the team’s 118-106 victory.

Philadelphia will now enter the playoffs as the fourth seed and therefore play the Toronto Raptors in the first round.

This however is bad news for Australia’s Thybulle who will be ineligible to play in games three, four and six in Toronto due to being unable to enter the country over his vaccination status. Thybulle has only had one dose of the vaccine and therefore is not classed as vaccinated in Canada.

With the regular season having now come to a close, Thybulle ends the 2021/22 season having had a career year. He averaged 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks.

He also shot a career best 49.7% from the field, started 49 of the 65 games he played and set a new career high in steals with six.

More Basketball News

NBL Power Rankings Round 18: United soar back into the top three as the Taipans rise

Aussies in the NBA: Thybulle and Green secure playoff berths in Week 24

Aussies in the NBA: Mills shoots his way into Nets history books in Week 23

Jock Landale

2 Games, 0 Wins, 4.0pts, 5.5reb, 1.0ast

Jock Landale and the San Antonio Spurs will have a chance of making the playoffs after locking up a spot in the play-in tournament early in the week. Landale only played in two of the Spurs four games this week being sidelined with a foot injury.

Landale missed the Spurs first game of the week against the Denver Nuggets which they won 116 to 97. With the Los Angeles Lakers losing on the same day this meant that the Spurs were guaranteed to finish in the top 10 of the Western Conference and therefore be part of the play-in tournament.

Landale would go on to miss the Spurs next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves which they lost by six.

The Aussie big man finally got to return to the court for San Antonio’s third game of the week when they played the Golden State Warriors. Landale had a rough shooting night in the 100 to 94 loss, scoring six points off 10% shooting.

Landale did however attack the boards with ferocity to collect 11 rebounds of which three were offensive and got his teammates involved with two assists.

To close out the regular season the Spurs final game was against the Dallas Mavericks where Landale would go head to head with Boomers teammate, Josh Green. The Spurs again were unable to get the win going down by 10 points with Landale playing just five minutes off the bench and scoring just two points.

With the regular season coming to a close, Landale finishes his rookie season in the NBA having played 53 games of which he started one, where he averaged 5.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists.  

San Antonio will meet the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday for their do or die play-in game.

Josh Green

3 Games, 3 Wins, 6.7pts, 4.7reb, 1.7ast, 1.0stl

The Dallas Mavericks did all they could to try and improve their seeding in the final week of the NBA season winning all three of their games. Aussies Josh Green played his usual bench role, contributing with valuable scoring and defence.

The Maverick’s first game of the week came against the Detroit Pistons where they comfortable cruised to victory, 131 to 113. Green was prolific off the bench, adding 12 points from 83.3% shooting, seven rebounds, one assist and two steals.

Green was unable to be as effective in the Maverick’s next game against the Trailblazers scoring just the one point to go along with four rebounds, two assists and one steal in the 16 minutes he played. He was however a big positive for Dallas when on the court having a plus/minus of +26, with the Mavericks winning by 50 points.

Dallas’ final game of the regular season saw them meet Jock Landale’s San Antonio Spurs with them able to come away with a 10 point victory. Green got 17 minutes off the bench, adding in seven points, three rebounds and two assists.

Despite winning all three games this week and having a four game win streak to end the season, Dallas was unable to climb any higher up the Western Conference, with third place Golden State winning all their games this week as well.

Therefore, with the Mavericks finishing as the fourth seed will meet the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

Much like many other Aussies in the NBA, Green’s 2021/22 campaign was a career year, with him able to forge a role with Dallas off the bench. In his second season in the NBA, Green was able to get consistent playing time, suiting up for 66 games surpassing last season when he only played 39.

Green averaged 4.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists and set new career highs in every statistic this season.  

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