The Australian Boomers have made it to the semifinals of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament. The team’s success can largely be attributed to the stellar floor generalship of Boomers captain and San Antonio Spurs spitfire Patty Mills.
The Aussie dynamo is proving himself in Rio. Mills is averaging 20.5 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting. He even outperformed San Antonio Spurs teammate Tony Parker during Australia and France’s opening day match.
Layton Garrett of Air Alamo suggested that Gregg Popovich should start Mills over Parker next season. Mills has a fresher pair of legs than Parker and is equally deadly during crunch time.
Mills played a huge part in the Spurs’ championship campaign in 2014. During the 2014-2015 season, there were times when he was the better point guard for the Spurs. In the 2015 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers, he averaged the same points as Parker despite playing 14 minutes less.
Popovich has given Mills the green light to fire away from beyond the arc. It is only a matter of time before the long-tenured coach hands him the keys to the Spurs offense.
Sports analyst John Vasington stated that the Spurs won’t be too disadvantaged when Parker retires. Mills has grown accustomed to the Spurs way of life both on and off the court. He will be a worthy successor to the Hall of Fame-bound Frenchman.
Fans and basketball pundits alike believe Spurs rookie Dejounte Murray is the heir apparent to Parker. That could hold true, but he has yet to play a single NBA game. He still needs a few years to blossom into the player everyone expects him to be.
Mills may not be the Spurs’ point guard of the future, but he is the right person to shepherd the team in the next three years or so. As of the moment, Mills is focused on winning the gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Australia is confident they have what it takes to upset Team USA, should they meet in the final. The Boomers were a few defensive stops away from beating the Americans during their Group A clash over a week ago.
“We’ve established our goal very early on and we have a team that believes in one another,” Mills told Fox Sports. “It’s special to be a part of a unique group that is hungry and eager to achieve something no other Australian team has done before.”