The Courier-Mail

Prac­tice shows Boomers can rely stacks on Mills

- NICK SMART

AUS­TRALIAN Boomers guard Patty Mills yesterday cleared con­cerns about his fit­ness, star­ring in a scrim­mage against NBL club Mel­bourne United.

The squads went head-to­head be­hind closed doors at the State Bas­ket­ball Cen­tre, with the Boomers streak­ing away in the sec­ond half for a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory.

In front of a small crowd, Mills played good min­utes and per­formed strongly for the na­tional team.

The San An­to­nio Spurs guard moved well across the court and shot ex­pertly in a timely tune-up be­fore Satur­day night’s clash with New Zealand at Rod Laver Arena.

Mills’ per­for­mance came de­spite sug­ges­tions from Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare that his late call-up “messes with the chem­istry” of Aus­tralia.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing. He’ll be such a strong in­flu­ence on how their team plays and they’ve only got a week to in­cor­po­rate that into what they’ve been do­ing the last cou­ple of weeks in Europe,” Henare said.

“From their point of view, he comes in and strength­ens their group but, from our point of view, maybe he messes with the chem­istry.’’

The chem­istry seemed un­af­fected, although Golden State War­riors cen­tre An­drew Bogut did not play. Boomers coach An­drej Le­ma­nis was un- will­ing to risk the big man in a scratch match.

Bogut, who has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment on his back, said last week he was bat­tling “gen­eral sore­ness” but would be fine to meet the Tall Blacks.

Ryan Broekhoff and Damian Martin also did not suit up un­der the same pol­icy.

In their ab­sence, Chris Gould­ing, Matthew Dellave­dova and Brock Mo­tum all shone yesterday.

New United im­port guard Stephen Holt, who per­formed well, was reac­quainted with Dellave­dova af­ter the pair once played to­gether at US col­lege Saint Mary’s.

“We (United) had noth­ing to lose and it was a great test to go up against NBA cal­i­bre tal­ent,” Holt said.

“Ob­vi­ously I played with Delly at Saint Mary’s and I have history with Patty, so I was very fa­mil­iar with them.

“In the first half we played re­ally pretty well and in the sec­ond half the Boomers re­ally turned it on.’’

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