Spurs guard Patty Mills catches fire from downtown
The rest of the league received word on Wednesday that the San Antonio Spurs were shutting down Kawhi Leonard indefinitely as he deals with the same quad injury that’s held him to nine games this season. While this news would have been debilitating for most franchises, The Spurs did as they do with any crisis and handled the situation with a next man up attitude.
San Antonio has been plagued by injuries for the entirety of the season, but they haven’t let that get them down. Despite Tony Parker, Danny Green, Rudy Gay, Kyle Anderson and Leonard missing significant time due to injury, all the Spurs have done is respond to their unfortunate hand with an impressive 30-16 record that’s left them in third place in the tougher Western Conference.
Last night, with Leonard sidelined, LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills came up big for San Antonio as they fought off the persistent Brooklyn Nets for a 100-95 win on the road. Aldridge finished with a game-high 34 points to go along with 8 rebounds, but it was Mills who put on a performance to remember as he drained seven triples and provided a much needed spark off of the bench.
Mills was icy cold to start the season and his 35.4% shooting from three point land and 37.9% shooting overall are all you need to tell how rusty the knockdown shooter was. However, over the second half of his games played, he’s looked a lot more like himself, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 44.3% from beyond the arc.
The Spurs won’t be able to rely on Patty every night in Kawhi’s absence, but they’ll never need to. With Bryn Forbes, Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson and Davis Bertans injecting scoring and energy into the Spurs version of a youth movement, San Antonio has plenty of weapons to surround LaMarcus Aldridge with as he attempts to carry the hobbling Spurs through the rest of the regular season.
LA hasn’t always been the player San Antonio had hoped for when they first signed the five time All-Star in the 2015 offseason, but this season he’s finally looking like the franchise player he used to be in Portland. If he keeps up the good work before the All-Star break, it’ll be hard to keep coaches from rewarding him with his sixth All-Star game appearance knowing that he’s been the heart and soul of the overachieving San Antonio Spurs.