Having recapped how the Aussies in the NBA fared after 10 games of the season, we are taking a look at how they have tracked since. From winning streaks to a series of losses that left the fans and crowds thinking – “What if?” Some are on more positive trajectories than others.
The San Antonio Spurs have continued their winning fashion, extending their streak to 7 straight. This brings their season total to 12 wins and 3 losses, boasting a .800 win % which is enough to have them 3rd in the Western Conference.
Patty Mills has been in and out of the starting line-up throughout this stretch, however despite not playing the opening minutes this hasn’t effected his overall game time.
In a recent win against the Dallas Mavericks, Mills played 30 minutes off the bench totalling 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists and 2 steals.
As for the poor Mavericks, they are well and truly on struggle street.
Experiencing defeat against San Antonio, the Mavs record fell to 2-11. Andrew Bogut didn’t play in this game but judging from the teams recent form, it is hard to say whether Big Bogut’s presence in the paint would have prevented the loss.
The Mavericks are currently fielding 4 players who entered the league undated. (even though Wes Matthew’s doesn’t really count). This is a tough recipe for success and being in the notoriously challenging Western Conference makes the task more difficult. Across 14 fixtures Dallas need to perform more than a 3-point turn if they are to steer this wreckage back on the road to victory.
The Utah Jazz on the other hand have been hit hard by the injury bug, and unfortunately Aerogard won’t be able to help in this situation.
Despite this they still have a .500 record with 8 wins and 8 losses. The Jazz put an end to a 4 game losing streak with a convincing 108-83 win against the Denver Nuggets, giving them some momentum coming into their next game against the Atlanta Hawks.
During this injury plagued run, Dante Exum averaged 32.3 minutes per match with 11.3 points, 1.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds while shooting 42.2% from the field and 29.3% from deep.
Considering the amount of minutes and the opportunity to stamp his name on a rotation place, these averages are quite underwhelming, especially the assists total courtesy of his role as point guard.
Exum may still be figuring his role out after a lengthy stay on the sidelines last season, but Utah and the fans down under would defiantly like to see him show some more of the form that earned him his place as 5th overall in the 2013 draft.
Meanwhile the honeymoon period is in full swing in the city of Milwaukee.
During a press conference midweek, Bucks young star Giannis Antetoukonmpo had the following to say about Aussie team mate Matthew Dellavedova: “He is the best team mate I’ve ever had … I think we have a great connection and it’s helping the team.”
It has been 4 weeks where these two have been playing together and although the results haven’t been all there, the fact they have already developed a feel for one another on the court bodes well for the Bucks future.
The franchise had a couple of tough games this week, having lost the previous 3 straight via a win against the Orlando Magic. Strangely, the game they struggled the most with on this stretch was against the Miami Heat, who at the time had a 2-8 record. Losing by 23 points, Delly was scoreless in this outing.
This was followed up by a close loss to the Golden State Warriors – a fixture the Bucks had in their grasp and one they should have closed out. Delly did his part with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal while shooting 3/6 from 2 and 100% from downtown.
The little dynamo defended both Steph and KD in the dying minutes of the game, forcing each superstar into tough shots. Milwaukee were only down by two at the time and somehow failed to convert on a breakaway dunk and wide open 3 pointer that would have put them in front with under a minute remaining.
Although the Bucks put up a tough fight and almost managed to steal a W from the 2016-2017 super team, it was the Warriors class that eventually prevailed.
After hearing Gianni’s praise for his Aussie counterpart and seeing how Delly managed to guard both Steph and KD in clutch time, he has further cemented the idea that he is one of the best players to have on your team.
And his irritation of opposition players is an asset not to play down either.
All in all it has been an action-packed period for the Boomers brigade: the Jazz and the Bucks have both put an end to their loosing streaks with their most recent games; while Patty Mills and the Spurs may not be the only team come this time next week in midst of a win streak.
We will check in with the 7-9 Detroit Pistons and Aron Baynes down the track, as well as seeing if the Mavericks can finally find their footing and put an end to their ongoing woes.