Australians in NBA, Josh Green contract, Josh Giddey logo 3, video, reaction, Ben Simmons return from injury
Australians in NBA, Josh Green contract, Josh Giddey logo 3, video, reaction, Ben Simmons return from injury
Josh Green continues his improvement in Dallas and his coach is tipping him to see a big payday as a result.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons has lifted the lid on his return from injury and Josh Giddey made an “incredible” play for the Thunder.
That and more in the latest wrap of how all the Australians in the NBA are faring.
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Gobert trips Williams, hit with EJECTION | 00:29
BEN SIMMONS (Brooklyn Nets)
Simmons admitted it has been a “super frustrating” period with the Nets guard sidelined once again, this time with a calf strain.
The 26-year-old has missed three-straight games but told reporters on Wednesday [AEDT] that he hopes to return on Saturday against the Hawks.
Even if Simmons does get back on the court though he admitted his workload could look different, having averaged 33.2 minutes this season before the latest injury.
“I think we’re definitely going to look at [workload] a lot differently,” Simmons told reporters in the US, including the New York Post.
“Maybe not [playing] back-to-backs or whatever it is. I think that’s going to be a joint thing with the training staff and with myself.”
Simmons has PERFECT night against Pacers | 00:45
Simmons also said he thinks that the leg injuries he has suffered this season are related to the issues he had with his back during the offseason.
It is hardly what Brooklyn wants to hear as Simmons had started to really hit his straps before the calf injury, with this setback just further delaying his progress on the court.
Simmons had been averaging 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists this season and will be crucial for the Nets, particularly on the defensive end, if they have title ambitions,
With that in mind though, Simmons stressed he understands the long-term goal and that it is more important to be “healthy at the end of the year”.
“You want your guys to be healthy and ready to go,” he added.
Teammate Kevin Durant has been shouldering the load with Simmons sidelined and currently leads the NBA in minutes, averaging 38.7 on the court in the past six games.
Brilliant Ben can’t lift Nets to win | 01:21
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn though suggested that he needs to find more ways to get other players more involved so as to keep Durant fresh for the latter stages of the season.
“[We hope] that we have the depth that we can space and share some of those minutes amongst a few guys going forward and trending towards what we want to get to once playoffs come around,” he said.
JOSH GIDDEY (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Forgetting draining regulation 3-pointers. Giddey is now even launching it deep from the logo.
Sure, we’re not going to see this from Giddey every night or week for that matter but it is a sign of just how confident the Australian has grown in his shooting ability.
Giddey had 17 points, four assists, five rebounds and just one turnover in Oklahoma City’s most recent win — a 121-114 comeback victory over Atlanta.
What was most impressive about the 20-year-old’s performance though was the way he stepped up in the fourth quarter when the Thunder needed him most, scoring 12 points.
Giddey had 10 points from free throws, including eight down the stretch, sinking those clutch buckets to help the Thunder to victory.
“That logo 3, I would not trade it in for the world… that was incredible,” Rylan Stiles said on the ‘Locked on Thunder’ podcast.
“He took over in the fourth quarter. What were the biggest knocks on Josh Giddey this year? The turnovers being an issue, down to one this game and the shooting and scoring ability… he had 17 including 12 in the fourth quarter.
“He just took over this game in the fourth quarter like he did against Minnesota. I’ve been pleading to give this guy time to grow and he’s showing you why. He can take over games. “Him and SGA can work together but he hasn’t even played in 82 NBA games yet so you’re going to have to give him time.
“You’re seeing the potential of what this pairing can do. You’re seeing how the Thunder can survive in the SGA-less minutes in the fourth quarter because that’s when Josh Giddey takes over.”
Giddey has also attempted 11 3-pointers in his past two games, making five (45.5 per cent) after a five-game stretch where he tried for just one per game.
JOSH GREEN (Dallas Mavericks)
Green is going to get paid. Coach Jason Kidd has made sure of it.
Speaking to reporters after Green’s latest breakout performance against the Phoenix Suns, Kidd declared that the Australian has “all the talents to be a superstar” in the NBA.
“The truth is the kid is really good, and if he continues to keep working, he’s going to make a lot of money,” Kidd said.
“Josh is going to get paid a lot of money. I’m telling you here today: If he continues to work and help with the team, the kid has all the talents to be a superstar.”
At the moment, Green is on a four-year, $13.6 million rookie contract but he will be soon eligible for an extension that can be worth up to 25 percent of the salary cap.
Kidd referenced the fact he made similar comments about Jalen Brunson last season and, funnily enough, the 26-year-old did end up getting paid — $104 million in fact.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, that four-year deal saw Brunson leave the franchise for the Knicks, leaving a hole in the offence that has been somewhat addressed by the signing of Kemba Walker.
Green though is also doing his best to increase his input on both ends of the floor, finishing the Phoenix game with 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals while shooting 6-for-7 from the field.
“Not just this game – he’s been playing really, really good for us,” Dallas superstar Luka Doncic said after the Suns win.
“Actually amazing. For us, he brings energy from the bench. I think he has a lot more confidence. Some people need some more time. The best league in the world, you go against the best players, but he’s showing he can really play and he’s really helping us.”
Green, meanwhile, once again touched on his lack of playing time in the playoffs last season as a source of motivation behind his rapid rise.
“Even the first game of [this] season, we went to Phoenix and I think I played 12 minutes,” Green said.
“I was sprinting around the court and playing defence. It’s cool to be able to see growth from that game, and after last year being benched in that playoff series, it motivated me for sure. I think every game I go into it motivated and ready to go.”
While Green’s shooting in particular has played a key role in him taking the leap this season, his effort areas in defence are also seeing Dallas to keep him on the floor longer.
“Josh is flourishing right now for the most part,” teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. added.
“He’s doing an amazing job of taking accountability on himself this past summer and taking his game to a whole other level.
“We throw him out there, and he’s out there doing his thing on both ends of the floor – giving us energy and picking up full court. He will make some mistakes, but it all comes from the aggression aspect of it and that is what we all love about him.
“He’s going to bring it every single day, so kudos to him. He is very deserving of this opportunity right now, and he is taking advantage of it.”
DYSON DANIELS (New Orleans Pelicans)
Daniels may have been taken with the eighth overall pick in the draft but he was never expected to see significant minutes right away in New Orleans.
The Pelicans have the luxury of boasting one of the league’s deepest rosters, with Jose Alvarado and Devonte Graham both also competing for the back-up point guard role.
Injuries though have recently opened the door for Daniels, with Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Trey Murphy and C.J. McCollum all sidelined.
That in turn has seen the Bendigo product, who had already impressed in limited minutes, start to see more time on the court.
Daniels made the most of the opportunity, almost putting up a triple-double (14 points, eight rebounds and nine assists) along with a steal against the Raptors in over 31 minutes.
Dyson’s ALMOST triple-double! Pels win! | 01:00
“He was huge for us,” coach Willie Green said of Daniels’ performance.
“It’s funny watching him play. He’s getting better and better the more time that he gets. He’s poised.
“He makes really good plays – 14 points, nine assists, eight rebounds; close to a triple double for a 19-year-old young man. It’s impressive.”
The 19-year-old backed up that effort with 32 and 21 minutes respectively against the Spurs and Nuggets, continuing to make plays on both ends of the court.
While Daniels did not make a successful 3-pointer in either of those games that aspect of his game will continue to develop with time as he grows more comfortable and confident.
ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony has certainly liked what he has seen so far from Daniels, ranking him seventh in his power rankings of this season’s rookie class.
“He’s still developing his hunger for scoring and has room to grow with his frame and ability to handle contact, but he’s making significant progress seemingly every time he steps on the court and is still only 19 years old,” Givony wrote for ESPN.
Daniels talks rookie season! | 01:36
JOCK LANDALE (Phoenix Suns)
Landale is back getting consistent minutes for Phoenix after a stretch without any playing time, at one point falling behind Bismack Biyombo in the pecking order.
It was unfortunate timing for Landale as his family had travelled from Australia to Phoenix to watch him for the first time.
Now though Landale has started to see playing time again, even if it is not much, with six games since the 27th of November, including 12 points, four rebounds and a steal against former team San Antonio.
Landale drained his one 3-point attempt in that game and if there is any area of his game that the Australian needs to improve it is his shooting from deep, averaging 14.3 per cent this season.
While Landale may not always be getting the minutes he is after, the former Saint Mary’s college star understands his role in the team and why playing time may fluctuate.
“He (Suns coach Monty Williams) just needed someone to come in and get the job done, and that’s kind of been my role the last two games,” Landale told AAP.
“All I can really control right now is making sure that I’m ready to go, because he did say to me at some point, ‘You know, things will come back around’.
“But this is the business of being a backup in the NBA … they try things and I’m just making sure that he can have confidence in me to call my name at any point.”
MATISSE THYBULLE (Philadelphia 76ers)
The Australian defensive weapon started out the season playing limited minutes but as the Sixers struggled that started to change.
As a potential game-changer on the defensive end, Thybulle started to get more playing time and even pushed it beyond 20 and even 30 minutes at one point.
He still wasn’t scoring many points but his disruptive presence in defence was reason enough to keep Thybulle involved.
Then his minutes suddenly dwindled again and Thybulle even missed a few games but there was a simple explanation this time around.
It had nothing to do with coach Doc Rivers’ preferences. Rather, Thybulle revealed late last month that a lingering issue from an ankle injury he suffered against Utah was to blame.
“It’s been happening for like three or four games prior to that,” Thybulle said.
“When I would sub-out, I would go out and come back [to the locker room], we would do what we could, go out and try again.
“There was a couple of games of just playing three minutes. I couldn’t do it.”
Thybulle managed eight minutes in his return against the Hawks and made an immediate impact with a steal and four points, finishing with a game-best plus-12.
The 25-year-old went on to log 18, 13 and seven minutes respectively in his next three games and is continuing to ramp up back towards full health.
PATTY MILLS (Brooklyn Nets)
It has been a frustrating string of five games on the bench for Mills, who has not been used by the Nets during that period.
That could change though with Brooklyn looking to ease the amount of pressure that is on Kevin Durant right now to produce.
Durant has been averaging the most points and minutes in the NBA, with coach Vaughn admitting it is “not ideal” for the Nets to be using him this much.
“While we’re in the win-now mode, win today’s game, we are behind the scenes talking about what the stretch looks like beyond tomorrow, beyond the next day,” he said recently.
“So it is on our minds.”
Of course, the return of Simmons and Yuta Watanabe from injury will give Brooklyn a few other options to put in and help scale back Durant’s minutes.
But otherwise, Mills is also sitting there on the bench ready to play a role if needed.
JACK WHITE (Denver Nuggets)
White has seen some playing time for the short-handed Nuggets recently, scoring his first NBA bucket in the 121-106 loss to the Pelicans earlier this week.
Again though it was just two minutes on the court for the former Melbourne United forward, who has averaged 3.3 minutes from eight appearances for Denver this season.
MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA (Sacramento Kings)
It is a similar story for Dellavedova, who has strung together a few games for the Kings but is not looking at any significant minutes as more of a depth piece in Sacramento.
He scored three points to go with one rebound and assist in seven minutes in his most recent appearance against the Clippers late last week.
The Kings won that won 123-96 though, with Dellavedova getting on the court in the latter stages of the game when the result was beyond doubt and that continues to be a regular theme for the Boomers legend.
JOE INGLES (Milwaukee Bucks)
Nothing more to report on Ingles as he continues his recovery since suffering an ACL injury.
The likely return date remains sometime in January according to Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst.
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