Analyst Reveals Secret Weapon for Nets’ Patty Mills: ‘Battery Up His A**’

Patty Mills (left) and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets

Getty Patty Mills (left) and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets

When the Nets gave veteran point guard Patty Mills—whose only NBA teams to that point had been the Trail Blazers and Spurs—a two-year deal this offseason, it did not grab much notice. Mills, after all, is 33 and while he had forged a good reputation as a backup with a pretty good 3-point shot, he was not necessarily a game-changer.

But drop him on the Nets alongside Kevin Durant, and it appears that has changed. Mills has been a deadeye shooter for the Nets this season and has helped the team survive its current stretch without starting shooting guard Joe Harris.

Mills is shooting 48.6% from the 3-point line, which ranks fourth in the NBA among players who have attempted at least 3.0 3s per game.


Patty Mills Highlights | 22 Points vs. Orlando MagicBrooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills records 22 points in win against Orlando Magic on November 19, 2021.2021-11-20T03:18:02Z

On the most recent episode of ‘The Lowe Post’ with ESPN’s Zach Lowe and YES Network reporter Sarah Kustok, Mills received high praise.

“We need to talk about Patty Mills,” Lowe said. “All-time teammate, really good shooter, runs around like he has got a battery up his ass the whole game long and that never turns off.”


Mills Mastered the ‘Yoink’ Steal

One play that particularly caught Lowe’s attention—and shows the craftiness and veteran know-how of Mills—came in the October 27 game vs. Washington. Harris missed a 3-pointer from the right wing and when Wizards star Bradley Beal grabbed the rebound, Mills was waiting. He snatched the ball from Beal under the basket and had an immediate layup.

Said Lowe:

When the Nets played the Wizards, he had a ‘yoink’ steal on Bradley Beal where Bradley Beal got a defensive rebound and Patty Mills in one motion, took it from behind, snuck up like a cat burglar, snatched it and in one motion, made a layup. He did the same thing again against the Warriors, except he missed the layup.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a player do the yoink, sneak up from behind, instant layup—I need 1,000 words on this, I need to interview Patty Mills specifically about this, it’s uncanny.

Here’s the play Lowe mentioned:


Mills Has Bolstered the Nets Offense

Offensively, Mills has been a major boon to the Nets this season, especially with point guard Kyrie Irving having not played this year because of his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a starter replacing Harris, he has averaged 17.0 points on 55.6% shooting and 50.0% 3-point shooting. The Nets’ offensive rating when he is on the floor, according to Basketball-Reference.com, is 117.6 points per 100 possessions, and just 100.5 points per 100 possessions when he is not on the floor.

Defensively, the Nets take a slight step backward with Mills, who is only 6-foot-1, on the floor. They allow 106.0 points per 100 possessions with Mills playing, rather than 103.5 when he is not. It’s a small trade-off considering how much better the offense runs.

Mills has a long-standing relationship with Nets GM Sean Marks, having played with him for a season (2010-11) in Portland, and having been in the Spurs’ front office while Mills was in San Antonio. That was one reason the Nets were able to ink Mills in the offseason. He’s certainly gotten the seal of approval from the team’s top star, Kevin Durant.

“Just having that energy around every day is amazing,” said Durant earlier this season. “Beating his chest into the crowd, making timely plays underneath the basket, getting steals, just playing with energy. We’re going to need that from him.”

 

 

 

 


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