As the festive season rolls around the NBA, a few of our Australian ballers have been able to get into the holiday spirit early due to their on-court performances.
One Aussie even has the bragging rights of leading the league in made 3-point field goal percentage, which is defiantly not something many people have the opportunity to claim during their Christmas lunch.
Andrew Bogut received an early Christmas break this year missing the last 8 games that the Mavericks played. Luckily for the Mavs, the return of their starting point guard Deron Williams has bought a much needed boost to the line-up.
Even without the defensive presence of big Bogut, the Mavericks have managed to win 3 of their 8 games in this period, not bad for a team who has only won 7 all year. Since returning back into the fold, Williams is averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 assists and shooting 39.9% from the field, as well as 92.6% from the free throw line.
Despite still being tied last with a win % of .276, the Mavericks look to be turning their season around. Yet with qualifying for the playoffs already looking like a distant memory, maybe hanging out for the best odds in the draft is a better move for the team who are in desperate need of a rebuild.
The Utah Jazz on the other hand have had a week to feel merry about, losing to the Golden State Warriors earlier in the week where they conjured up a nice little 4 game win streak.
Only to lose once again to the Warriors in their most recent game, this is no slight against the Jazz as the Warriors have lost 4 games all campaign. With these 2 defeats to the Warriors, the team is nestled in 6th place in the stacked Western Conference with a .600 win % (18 wins & 12 losses).
The Jazz are currently holding each opponent to an average of 94.9 points per game, outlining how they are currently sporting the best defence in the league and with this the W’s will continue to come Utah’s way. Maintaining the best defence in the league, the Jazz have the best 3-point shooter in the league.
Joe Ingles has officially (at least in the eyes of every Aussie supporter) taken the crown from Steph Curry as the most deadeye shooter in the NBA. Of course he isn’t crossing up his opponents and hitting jumpers from beyond half court, but he is hitting 49.3% of 3 pointers and doing this on a consistent basis.
As the Jazz commentary team refer to him, Jingling Joe is playing 18.4 minutes a game and attempting 2.6 shots from downtown each night. So it’s clear this isn’t a fluke and we can except this hot shooting to continue after the New Year.
When I started to write this article, the Bucks were 8th in the ever changing Eastern Conference and Detroit were only one spot out of the playoffs in 9th place. However, I’ve had to backtrack because the Bucks are now 9th and out of the playoffs with Detroit dropping to 11th.
This is the nature of the Eastern Conference, apart from the top 2 spots, virtually every other position is up for grabs – an exciting prospect. Aron Baynes and Matthew Dellavedova have been consistently knocking each other out of a spot in the post season only to be back in the following game.
The Pistons have been struggling recently having lost 4 games in a row, things haven’t gone as smoothly as they seemed when Reggie Jackson first returned to the starting line-up. But having played well without him earlier in the year, with time Detroit will most likely pull it together and find their mojo back into the top 8.
Milwaukee meanwhile won two straight blowout games against the Bulls followed by 2 consecutive losses to the Cavaliers. Despite annihilating Chicago in both games and taking the Champions into overtime in the Bucks home leg, the story of their week was Delly finally being awarded his Championship ring.
He was mobbed by his former teammates as the ring was handed to him in front of an endearing Cleveland crowd, almost dropping it in the process but managing to somehow keep it safe.
Delly later put a photo up on Instagram of his new bling and very appropriately captioned the photo “Straight to the pool room”. Throwing in a quick quote from The Castle to make all of us back home even more proud of the young lad from Maryborough.
As usual, everything is sunny in San Antonio. The team is currently in the midst of a 6 game win streak that they’ll be looking to continue into the new year. This will be tough for them though, with a 5 game stretch to play before 2016 comes to a close.
The Spurs were incredibly close to having their streak cut short earlier in the week when they came up against the Houston Rockets, who at the time we’re currently on a 10 game winning streak. With 4:39 left to play, the game appeared like Houston’s to run away with as they were up by 13 points.
However, the Spurs locked in on their rebounding and defence, Kawhi Leonard grabbed 2 steals in these final minutes and dragged the game back to a 1-point deficit. The go ahead basket and ultimately game winner was a 3 pointer hit from 25 feet by none other than Patty Mills.
Shooting an impressive 43% from downtown on the season, this isn’t the first time Patty has won the Spurs a game with a clutch 3 pointer. We saw him also do this early in the year against the Boston Celtics when he hit a corner 3 with 9 seconds left on the clock.
With Mill’s clutch time daggers becoming more of a habit for him, the Spurs organisation are going to be able to rest easy at night knowing they have a Boomer amongst their ranks.
This is the last Aussie NBA wrap up for this year folks, so enjoy your holiday and New Year’s celebrations!