Josh Giddey has impressed US pundits so far this season, but he’s not the only Aussie to achieve electrifying exploits in the NBA.
Joe Ingles became the last Australian to dazzle America in the NBA this season.
The Utah Jazz forward played a starring role in the first half of his team’s clash with the Houston Rockets on Friday (AEDT) and appeared determined to ensure the Jazz remained undefeated in their four first matches of the regular season.
The Adelaide star led all scorers at halftime with 14 points in 13 minutes of play. He shot from depths with 66.7 percent accuracy in the first two quarters, also recording two assists and three rebounds.
Ingles was ably helped by teammate Rudy Gobert, who had nine rebounds to go with his eight points.
The Australian’s antics did not go unnoticed by NBA experts.
“Jazz is just getting better and better everywhere: Joe Ingles is 14 and honestly could be 20 if he pulled just right every time it was open,” Utah Jazz beat reporter Andy Larsen said. on Twitter.
Utah-based NBA writer Sarah Todd added that “Joe Ingles has it tonight.”
Jazz’s momentum waned at the end of the second quarter, but the team still led the Rockets 61-40 at the half-time break.
GIDDEY AND THE KING
Aussie star Josh Giddey sits behind NBA superstar LeBron James among the youngest players to record 10 assists in a game as his meteoric start to his NBA career continued against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Giddey’s breathtaking range of passing was in full view as he also recorded his first career double-double with 18 points, including two to three points in Oklahoma City Thunder’s stunning 123-115 victory over the King James team.
James holds the record for the youngest player to provide 10 assists in a game at 18 years and 355 days and is also the second youngest to do so twice.
Giddey achieved the feat just 17 days after his 19th birthday and in his fifth NBA game alone.
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The young Aussie threaded the needle on several occasions with spectacular assists that brought the Paycom Center Thunder fans out of their seats as he battled against the 17 NBA champions.
It was also Giddey’s second-highest points total since making his NBA debut this season, with his best of the season with the 19 points he scored against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Thunder couldn’t have had a worse start as the Lakers scrambled in the first quarter and took a 41-19 lead.
However, Giddey played a starring role as the Thunder made a monumental 26-point comeback in the second and third quarters as they held on for their first win of the season.
The NBA world continued their love affair with the Australian and raved about his incredible performance.
For the Lakers, a solid performance from star duo Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook was ultimately not enough to secure their third victory of the season. LeBron James was out for the second game in a row with an ankle injury.
Davis scored 30 points and Westbrook recorded their first triple-double of the season as the Lakers fell to a 2-3 record.
Patty Mills couldn’t build on her stellar performance for the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week as the Eastern Conference heavyweights collapsed in a 106-93 loss to the Miami Heat.
Mills had a horror shooting day, making just one bucket of 15 attempts to add to his two successful charity gang attempts.
While it might have been pessimistic on the pitch for Mills, it certainly wasn’t the case outside.
The Boomers captain has been announced as one of four nominees for the ACT Australian of the Year award.
Mills was nominated because of his spectacular work with Indigenous basketball, including launching the Indigenous Basketball League earlier this year.
The Canberra native was also the first native Australian flag bearer at the Tokyo Olympics.