Patty Mills can only grin so wide when he’s dropping double-digit scoring and dominating fourth quarters. It’s hard to be too ecstatic when floods are ravaging your home country.
The Queensland floods have claimed at least 10 lives and forced the evacuation of thousands of homes, leaving the point guard sullen despite recent accomplishments.
“It’s hard, man. I have a lot of family in Brisbane. I know quite a few people that have been evacuated from their homes, people who didn’t even make it back to their homes to get whatever stuff they needed,” said Mills, who wore a Brisbane Broncos (rugby) jersey to Tuesday’s game in support of Australia. “You know, you’re back here in America, and for me living in Portland, it’s usually raining here. In that sense, it’s hard — being from Australia but having to be away when you have a close connection to it.”
While empathizing with his compatriots, Mills has been playing the best basketball of his career here in the U.S. — so well, in fact, the he had logged more than three times as many fourth-quarter minutes as Blazers starting point guard Andre Miller in the five games before Tuesday night.
Miller, who has lauded Mills’ play, hasn’t officially complained about the disparity — but he did tell a media outlet Sunday that “there isn’t an explanation for nothing around here.”
Has this created any tension between he and Mills? Is Patty feeling awkward?
“Not at all. Andre has been a big part of my development, for me being where I am now,” said Mills, who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter vs. the Heat Sunday. “He has helped all along the way. He was with me in the worst times when I wasn’t sure if I was going to be on the team, helping me on and off the court. He’s been great.”
Matt Calkins can be contacted at 360-735-4528 or firstname.lastname@example.org