It is never easy to see your team being hit with the injury bug as much as the San Antonio Spurs have been dealt with so far this season. Though we do not like it when it happens, this does bring out some good to the team. With injuries this season to Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and now the possible shutdown of Tony Parker until he reaches 100%, the second players are being called upon more and more and they are stepping up.
One player in particular is Patty Mills. Mills has been on a recent tear lately for San Antoino off of the bench. What can be seen is the hard work that he puts in when his number is called. Against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, which started the second half of the Rodeo Road Trip, he led off the bench with a team high 25 points in 27 minutes.
What he has done with the absence of the players that would be getting the playing time over him is how he stays energetic and continues to play with so much agression. Once those players do get healthy and return to the team, will Mills continue his agression?
I don't think it is a question to even be asking.
Mills may not be the star player that other teams have, he may not even be a starting guard in this league, but one thing is certain, Mills is a team player. He knows what he can do and what the Spurs system entales him to. He does not try to do to much. He lets the game come to him, he is a consiment point guard.
Teams may be taking Mills for granite and feel that he is not a threat to hurt them during games but proven that he is a force and can put up numbers is what he has been doing on the Spurs annual Rodeo Road Trip.
With two games left in the nine game road trip, Mills is averaging 17.5 points per game. Before his game of 25 against the Clippers, Mills against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 8th hit for 32, 2 shy of tieing his career high. He also cracked the 20 point park against the Washington Wizards finishing with 23.
Little tidbit, during the seven games, Mills has come off of the bench. What does this tell you about the type of player that Mills is and has become?
Level-headed, knows how to keep his teammates involved and how to choose his own shots. Mills when he is not even in the game has his name stamp on it one way or another. Whether it be cheering, waving the towel on the sideline, he is always in the game.
Dating back to when Mills was not getting the playing time that he is now, he has put up some great numbers. He is not going to be the leading scorer, with his hustle and defense, he finds a way to get involved.
He is the sparkplug.
I have always seen Mills playing with some aggression, more now than he has before but I don't see him backing off once the others return.
This season Mills is averaging 9.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.