2010-11 Portland Trail Blazers Roster Rundown: Patrick Mills

Nearing the end of our look at the 2010-11 Portland Trail Blazers roster we come to Portland's reserve point guard,  Patty Mills.  An afterthought as the season began, Mills fought his way onto the roster and then earned rotation minutes with his jumper, some ball-handling, and his great attitude.  Here's the statistical rundown.  Note that comparison to Mills' 2009-10 numbers should be held lightly considering the paucity of minutes.  He played 38 minutes the entire season and attempted four three-pointers, for instance.  Therefore numbers will range wildly.  Still, the chart does show how far he's come in the last year.  Witness:

 

10-11

09-10

Change

Games

64

10

+54

Minutes

783

38

+745

MPG

12.2

3.8

+8.4

FG%

41.2%

41.7%

-0.5%

3PT%

35.3%

50.0%

-14.7%

FT%

76.6%

57.1%

+19.5%

FGA/36

15.1

22.7

-7.6

3PTA/36

6.1

3.8

+2.3

FTA/36

2.2

6.6

-4.4

TRB/36

2.3

1.9

+0.4

STL/36

1.2

0.0

+1.2

AST/36

5.0

4.7

+0.3

TO/36

2.9

3.8

-0.9

AST/TO Ratio

1.76

1.25

+0.51

USG%

24.5%

38.9%

-14.4%

ORTG

101

95

+6

DRTG

111

114

-3

PER

13.0

11.9

+1.1

TShooting%

50.6%

48.0%

+2.6%

NETPTS/100*

-11.9

-24.7

+12.8

PPG

5.5

2.6

+2.9

PPG/36

16.2

24.6

-8.4

Click through for analysis of the numbers, a discussion of Patty's role this year, and a look at his potential prospects in the future.

When a guy's role gets bumped up the natural question is how he handled it.  Comparing 38 minutes to 783 is going to lead to aberrations but even on their own terms Mills' 2010-11 shooting numbers are decent:  41% overall, 35% from distance, 76+ from the free throw line, 50.6% True Shooting.  They look even better when you consider that over 40% of his attempts came from beyond the arc.  His assist and turnover numbers weren't bad either.   As an offensive guy off the bench meant to generate points, spread the floor, and hold the fort with his point guard play Mills filled his role.  He didn't set the world on fire but he didn't let the house burn down either.  Anecdotally speaking he was one of the few guys who could generate consistent offense from self and team when Andre Miller sat...a point to his credit.

The problem with Mills' numbers aren't that they're bad, it's just that there's nothing particularly to recommend them, particularly if you're looking at a point guard.  Figure this:  2010-11 was a year when Andre Miller gave up his stats for the good of the team, playing more of a set-up point guard role than ever.  Even in Miller's low statistical ebb, Mills doesn't best him in any major category outside of that three-point percentage, not even coming close in most areas.  Assists are lower, turnovers higher.  Mills attempts more shots per 36 and shoots a far lower percentage.  That 24.5% Usage Percentage sticks out for a point guard.  That's a lot of possessions to use for a guy who's supposed to be in a support role by talent and position both.  One could argue that Mills' role was more of an instant offense gunner but then what's with the 101 offensive rating and the so-so point per minute numbers?  The story isn't too much better defensively, with a 111 defensive rating not turning the tide.  Mills is not a great defender to the eye either.

Portland's offense lost 8.4 points per 100 possessions when Mills played versus when he sat this year.  Portland's defense gave up 3.5 more points when he played as well.  Some of that--maybe a large portion--can be tagged on Portland's weak bench overall.  It's not like Mills was playing with Jordan and Russell out there.  But other Portland bench players fared better.  Even being charitable you have to say that Mills didn't buck the trend.  Being uncharitable you could say he contributed to that weakness.  It's no accident than when Portland's rotation tightened towards the end of the season Mills was among the first players to sit.

Nevertheless Patty Mills remains a hard-working, hard-cheering, emotional success story.  He was an emotional leader, consistently showing energy--even if only through waving a towel--on a team that often loses its fire.  He is the kind of guy who will be first to do whatever is asked, whether it's stroke a three or pick a teammate up off the floor.  It's hard to part with that kind of enthusiasm.  Small wonder Mills is an instant fan favorite.

Even so the Blazers will have no qualms about looking for an upgrade this summer.  Mills is exactly the type of player teams appreciate but don't hold onto.  Not that the Blazers would mind having Patty back, but playing him in the regular rotation isn't going to be their preferred option.   If he does return he can consider this year's stats a baseline from which to improve.  He either needs to up the passes and limit the shots or hit more of the shots he does take and threaten point-per-minute status.  One or the other will be necessary as it's not likely his defense will improve.  He either needs a wild assist total or a 40% three-point shooting clip to cement his move onto Positive Street instead of hanging out on Didn't Kill Us Lane.  Solid emotion is great, but the play has to back it up.

Season Grade:  C+  (The plus is for the emotional support.)

Stock Market Recommendation:  Sell  (Not a safe long-term investment.)

Share your thoughts on Mills below.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blazer's Edge

You must be a member of Blazer's Edge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blazer's Edge. You should read them.

Join Blazer's Edge

You must be a member of Blazer's Edge to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blazer's Edge. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker