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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