27/02/2024

Aussies in the NBA Week 27. Photo: @NBA_AU, @MavsPR/Twitter

Our Aussies in the NBA continued to make their impact felt as them and their teams battle it out in the playoffs. The week was highlighted by Patty Mills being named the winner of the 2021/22 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

With the playoffs now well and truly underway, our Aussies did all they could for their teams as they look to progress past the first round.

Patty Mills                 

2 Games, 0 Wins, 8.5pts, 1.0reb, 0.0ast

It was not a good week for Patty Mills and the Brooklyn Nets, with the team unable to win any of the games they played in their first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics.

The Nets entered the week already down a game, having lost game one the previous week.

Game two was not much better for Brooklyn with the team blowing a big lead in the second half when the Celtics outscored them by 17 points. The Celtics had a massive fourth quarter outscoring the Nets 29 to 17 on route to a 114-107 victory.

Brooklyn’s all-star talent, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving struggled to score the ball with Boston’s suffocating defence proving too much for the duo to handle. The two combined made just eight of the 30 shots they took and one of 17 in the second half.

Mills tried to impact the game with the 18 minutes he got off the bench, finishing with five points and a rebound.

Game three was not much better for the Nets with again Durant and Irving struggling, unable to match Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown offensively. Durant and Irving combined for just 32 points with them going down by six points, 109 to 103.

Mills was productive off the bench scoring at a strong efficiency with 12 points from the four of the five three pointers he took.

The Nets now find themselves facing elimination, down three games to Boston who only need one more win to move on to the next round.

While Mills and the Nets were struggling on the court it was not all bad news, with Mills being named the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy for winning the 2021/22 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

Matisse Thybulle

1 Game, 1 Win, 5.0pts, 0.0reb, 1.0ast, 3.0blk

The Philadelphia 76ers kept rolling this week as they hold a commanding position in their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.

The Sixers continued where they left off last week in game two, defeating the Raptors 112 to 97. Philadelphia did most of the damage during the middle two quarters, outscoring them 63 to 38.

They were also very efficient shooting the ball as a team, going at 52.2% from the field and 46.7% from behind the arc.

Aussie Matisse Thybulle came off the bench in the game, playing just 10 minutes but had a massive impact defensively in that time. Thybulle scored five points, had one assist and was able to get three blocks.

Thybulle did not play in games three of four of the series which took place in Toronto due to him not being fully vaccinated and therefore ineligible to play.

Philadelphia was able to steal one game in the Raptors building, winning game three in overtime with Joel Embiid hitting a go ahead three pointer with 0.7 seconds left on the clock to give them the 104 to 101 win.

The 76ers were unable to have the same luck in game four, going down 110 to 102 with Pascal Siakam of the Raptors scoring 34 points to help them get the win.

The Sixers will now return home with Thybulle back and able to play in game five where they will look to close out the series, currently holding a three to one lead.

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Josh Green

3 Games, 2 Wins, 6.0pts, 1.3reb, 2.3ast

The Dallas Mavericks continued to battle this week against the Utah Jazz with the series all tied up heading into game five.

With Luka Doncic out for game two, the Mavericks had to look to the likes of Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie to be their primary scoring options. They did exactly that in game two with the Mavericks able to steal game two from Utah.

Brunson led the way with 41 points along with Maxi Kleber off the bench who shot eight of 11 from deep on route to the 110 to 104 victory.

Aussie Josh Green did not get much playing time in the game, playing just six minutes off the bench. Green had opportunities to score the ball, taking five shots in that time but was only able to make one of them, finishing with two points and a single assist.

Green had a much bigger impact in game three, where again without Doncic the Mavericks were able to get the win to then lead the series. It was during the first half that Green made his impact felt scoring 10 points along with six assists.

In the second half Green was unable to add much more to his stat line, finishing the game with a playoff career high 12 points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals as well as shooting three of five from beyond the arc.

The Mavs were unable to continue their winning ways in game four just falling short by one point, 100 to 99 despite Doncic returning.

Green got 16 minutes off the bench but was unable to have the same impact as he did in game three, scoring just the four points and having one rebound.

The series is now tied heading back to Dallas for game five, with both teams having won two games.

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