Olympics Basketball 2012: Mills drops 39, in Australia’s win over Great Britain







Great Britain













Joel Freeland

16 Pts., 1 Asts, 7 Rebs.

Patrick Mills

39 Pts., Asts, 5 Rebs.




The stakes were high coming into this game. Great Britain, still win less, knew today’s game was a must win or else they wouldn’t advance to the knockout stage. The last time both teams met was on August 21st last year. That game came down to the wire and in the end Australia won by 1 point. The final score was 91-90 Australia.

While Great Britain had current NBA players Luol Deng and Joel Freeland playing for their national team, Australia had Patty Mills who also plays for the San Antonio Spurs. Also, for those who don’t know, Freeland was draft in the 2006 NBA draft, 30th overall by the Portland Trailblazers. The Trailblazers however wanted him to stay in Europe to improve his play. Three years later he returns to Portland and signed a 3 year deal with the team on July 13th 2012. He will make his debut this upcoming season.

Onto today’s game and it was clear (or so I thought) that GB came to play. They started off with a 6 point lead. Australia finally got their first points at the 7 minute mark. At the 6 minute mark Deng was fouled and went to the line. At that moment he was fouled a total 22 times (the second highest) in the tournament. Australia gets their act together with Patty Mills hitting a baseline jumper. Australia leads in offensive rebounds with 3 while GB had 2.

GB had good defense, good rotation and ball movement, and it showed when Australia was struggling, shooting fewer than 25% for 3s. As well, the Aussie had 4 turnovers, with GB only having 3. Don’t forget about Mills though, as he hit a 3 at the 3:15 mark, bringing the deficit to 1, however GB leading 11-25 over the Aussies. GB would then answer back with a pick and roll to Robert Archibald and he finishes with the slam, 14-11 GB leading. Dan Clark would later hit a 3 at the 2 minute mark. GB would be 1 for 3-3point attempts. He was shooting 5 for 9 field goals. Australia’s Mills will answer Clark’s shot with a 3 of his own. Mills was 2 for 3 3-point shot. GB also had more steals with 3 steals, while Australia had 1. Dan Clark would again, hit a corner 3 and another jumper. He was 3 for 3 from the field with 9 points.

GB ended the quarter shooting 10 for 17 field goals at 58%, 3 for 6 3-point attempts at 50%, 2 for 2 free throws, 4 steals, 8 rebounds, 3 turnovers and 7 points from Australia’s turnovers. Australia however, was shooting 8 of 16 field goal shots at 58%, 1 steal, 7 rebounds and 6 turnovers. Overall, Great Britain was fully awakened coming to play, to win. Australia started off slow, not playing good defense or good offense.

With the 2nd quarter underway, Freeland hit the first points of the quarter. Australian Aron Baynes got the first points for Australia this quarter with a jumper. He had 6 points, 3 for 4 field goals. Deng would come back shooting a long 3 point shot at the 7 minute mark. He had 7 points. Pops Mensha-Bonsu later turned over the ball, trying to pass to an open man. It’s safe to say that Pops has a filter. He has great energy, but he has too much of an edge. Deng would hit a jumper bringing his total to 9 points. Deng was shooting 37% for 3s in the 2nd quarter. This tournament he shot 35%.

Moments later, Drew Sullivan comes out of nowhere shot shot clock, buzzer beating 3, giving GB the big lead. Later, Nate Reinking gets his own rebound shooting the bucket, making GB go on an 11-0 run. GB shot 13 points from Australia’s turnovers, while the Aussies only had 2. GB shot 5 for 9 points behind the arch. Australia went 3 and half minutes without scoring. Australia’s Mils gets fouled and hits the bucket. End of the quarter and the score was 46-36 GB. Australia needed its bigs to control the game. GB was shooting 17 for 32 points at 53% from the field, 5 of 10 3-point attempts at 50%, 7 of 8 free throws at 87%, had 5 steals, 17 rebounds, 6 turnovers and 13 points from turnovers. Australia however shot 13 for 36 field goals at 47%, 2 for 8 3-point attempts at 25%, 0 free throws, 2 steals, 17 rebounds, had 9 turnovers and 4 points from GB’s turnovers. Overall GB kept the pace going to halftime, got easy buckets whenever they could, and kept calm. Australia was struggling trying to buy buckets whenever going to halftime clearly frustrated.

Next up the 3rd quarter and to be quiet honest, I have no idea what exactly happened in this quarter. Let me break it down for you. First, Joel Freeland got the bucket. He had 16 points for GB. Australia’s Mills, who has been the star for the Aussies, gets the and1, making the bucket and completing the 3-point play. Australia heating up, going on a 8-0 run. Mills continues as he hits a good elbow jumper at the 6 minute mark and would come back again with a steal, finishing off with a 3-point shot. He was shooting 9 of 16 field goals. GB struggling, as Mensha-Bonsu & Deng had contributing to another turnover. Australia was on a 14-2 run before Mills had 22 points in the game, 8 of which came in this quarter. Reinking struggling bad, unable to stop Mills and instead fouling him and all of a sudden Australia brings the deficit to 50-53 points. Pops tries helping GB with a left-handed baseline shot. Matt Dellavedova added to Australia’s rhythm by shooting a 3. That was his 3rd of 3-point shots. He as well made Australia get the lead, with them up 56-55. Like I said before, if Australia wins this game, they will knockout GB, and clinch the last spot in Pool B.

It’s been full court pressure by Australia, as they have control this whole quarter. Andrew Lawrence gets the ball wide open in a corner, but he drives into the paint. He should’ve shot an open 3, but fortunately enough, he got the foul. That would be Australia’s 5th team foul by Baynes, putting them in the penalty. Still, Australia is running their stuff with GB just letting them. GB put no pressure whatsoever on Australia. Clark helps GB with the easy dunk on the other end, putting the deficit to 57-60 at the 3 minute mark.

Australia will continue their run outscoring GB 24-11 not running any offense. Nobody on GB is setting screens and there’s no extra passes, no ball movement. GB trying to get fast break points, searching for a way to set them off, struggling this quarter. They had a 51-63 lead before Australia turned the game around. Mills had 29 points, shooting 6 for 6 free throws and 10 for 17 field goals at the 2 minute mark. Australia hit all their 10 free throws in this quarter. GB has yet to go to go to the line yet. GB had 4 turnovers while Australia outscored 30-11 points. As well GB had 10 personal fouls, 6 of which game in the 1st half only. GB losing focus, not doing anything offensively, letting Australia going to the bucket. At the end, GB shot 5 of 21 points in the 3rd, just can’t control the ball. Dan Clark great fully helps them out closing the quarter with a buzzer beating 3.GB was shooting 42% 23 of 54 field goals, 7 of 18 38% 3-point attempts and 7 of 8 at 87% free throws. Australia shot 48% 24 for 50 field goals, 40% 6 of 15 3-point shots, and 100% 12 of 12 free throws.

The 4th quarter is the real killer. GB still not focused enough as Australia just crushes them. Australia making at least 6 of 9 passes moving the ball around to teammates. David Anderson hits a fade away with Australia. That’s 6 points for him. Australia’s great defense and transition contributes to their success in this game. Mills gets 32 points, shooting 11 of 19 field goals.  Freeland looks to pass, but throws it to the bench.

Once again, GB can’t buy anything. No flow, no continuity as Australia goes on an 11-0 run as they start this quarter while GB gets their 14th turnover. Mills is just absolutely stunning this game as he hits 39 points. He has highest points of any single game in this tournament now. Aussies up 84-60 at the 5 minute mark, as GB gets their first points of this quarter. GB just looking tired. Australia winning because they’re efficient as GB’s defense is soft. Than it just keeps going for Australia. At this point, it doesn’t matter who shots it. Everybody has hot hands, even their center shot a 3. Lawrence helps with a floater, but GB needed to see more from him. He needed to be more selfish with the ball. Finally, there’s a 3 point shot from Australia’s Adam Gibson. The final score is 104-75.

An incredible turn around as GB went into the halftime leading by 10, but lost by approximately 35 in the end. GB shot 42% 30 for 71 field goals, 7 for 21 3-point shots, 8 for 9 free throws, had 6 steals, 32 rebounds, 16 turnovers & 15 points for turnovers. Australia shot 57% 40 for 70 field goals, 13 for 24 e-point attempts, at 54%, 13 for 14, almost perfect free throws, 5 steal and 37 rebounds.

Australia will play against Russia in their next game. As for GB, this is the end for them as they will not advance to the next stage even if they win against China.