We've heard from several current and former San Antonio Spurs players over the years that it takes a full season to really get familiar and fit in with the system.
Someone evidently forgot to tell Patty Mills.
Since Mills joined the Spurs, he has shown exactly why the Spurs front office and scouts have been so successful, making a low-risk move and turning it into big dividends, at least through six games.
Through those six games, Mills is averaging 9.2 points and impressive 54 percent from the field and 43 percent on three-pointers. even during the Spurs most recent 11-game winning streak, Patty averaged 9.2 points.
Aside from being a threat on the perimeter, which made him a fan favorite in Portland, Mills has displayed blindingly-quick speed on the level of the player he backs up, Tony Parker.
As Paul Garcia said on the WOAI-Project Spurs Spurs Roundtable this past weekend, Mills' speed allows him to be an above average full-court defender, but because of his size, he can be a liability in half court defensive sets and could also have trouble against bigger and stronger point guards.
While Mills sports a quick release on a very effective jumper from range, he has done a good job of not forcing the offense or shooting too early during possessions unless it's in transition and he's open. His decision-making has shown marked improvement since his college days at St. Mary's.
While Mills has scored mostly on outside shots or on fast break drives in his first few games with the Spurs, he also has shown that he has good enough ball-handling ability to shoot off the dribble.
Mills is a shoot-first point guard, but is an upgrade at the backup position over Cory Joseph and Gary Neal and has had two four-assist games.
His biggest games have come in blowout wins against Cleveland and New Orleans. Seeing an increase in playing time, Mills made the most of it scoring 20 points against Cleveland and 14 against the Hornets.
While he struggled from beyond the arch against Utah on Monday, he was still able to finish the game with nine points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal.
Mills still has 12 games left on the regular season schedule with the Spurs, so there is still more to be seen, but if you've missed his biggest games so far, highlights are available below.
For more on Mills, be sure to watch the Spurs Roundtable. Mills was our spotlight player for our most recent episode.
Mills is just like TP, a shot and pass pg. Neal's natural position is shooting guard so he is not a pg. Mills has liabilities, his size and body makeup. He is somewhat small and skinny. For a variety in play, the other pg must be pass first and shoot later which fits Joseph. He is bigger and have a more compact body. Unfortunately, he is now with the toros. The spurs can't have it all. Its either Mills or Joseph.In that lose to the jazz, Diaw and Jackson may have shown something. They have reached their level. The so called depth is a mirage. Without the big 3, the spurs is just an ordinary team. And, Splitter is nothing but a reliever to TD.
Patty Mills is definitely a gifted player, but he seems a little too shot happy to me. We already have our own Gary Neal and I think we all know now that Mills can fill it up, but I would like to see a little more drive and dish from Mills (like T.J. Ford was doing) to add variety at our PG position. With Tony, Gary, and Mills, we have the all-shooting PG trio. We need someone to pass to the other guys on the court!
I know I'm gona sound like a dick here...but with how patty is playing I don't think neal should really be in the rotation. In the playoffs a team usually has an 8-9 man rotation. I see tim and blair starting and tiago and bonner off the bench for bigs (bonner is really showing that he's not giving up his spot to diaw. The guys playing out of his mind defensively). As for point and wings I see the current starters with manu as our off the bench combo guard and jax as the off the bench swingman. That's already a 9 player rotation. So when games get weird and you need that one random player to come in and turn things around who is it? I know pop wants neal and history says he's exactly that type of guy, but I really think patty would be better all around in the playoffs as that random every once in a while bench guy. Just my opinion
Gary Neal is a clutch shooter he proved that in the playoffs last year and he proved that against the Clippers. The Spurs will need Garl Neal. Bonner may be playing well now and he should, but Bonner must prove he can make his 3 point shots in the playoffs, in the past playoff games he has not proved that, especially in the away playoff games.