Spurs' backup PG: Joseph vs Mills
October, 25, 2013, 8:56AM ET
By Nick Borges | ESPN.com
Patty Mills finished last season buried deep on the San Antonio Spurs' bench as the third-string and sometime fourth-string point guard. Mills was not happy with his role and during the offseason he spent a lot of time in the gym improving his body and working on his game. The dedication paid off and during the preseason Mills has shown he deserves more time on the floor.
While Mills has stepped up, Cory Joseph and Nando de Colo have struggled. Joseph shot 40.9 percent from the floor in the preseason and de Colo could only make 30.3 percent. Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News thinks Mills might get the job as the main point guard behind starter Tony Parker.
McCarney writes: "The Spurs have at least gotten an interesting preseason from Patty Mills, who gave (head coach Gregg) Popovich something to think about by averaging 10 points on 44-percent shooting. He’s still erratic. But with Joseph and De Colo out of sync, there might not be a better time to throw Mills into the fire and see what he and his new body-fat percentage can do with a sustained role."
Joseph may be feeling a bit of pressure as the team has six more days to decide if it's worth picking up his $1.02 million option for 2014-15 and he has not been told how the club is leaning. Either way, his poor play has opened the door for Mills to potentially grab the main backup role.
This is a big year for Mills as he is set to be a free agent in 2014 and for the first time he has a chance to receive a contract that pays more than the league minimum depending on how he plays this season.