Denver Nuggets superstar Jamal Murray claims Patty Mills is the toughest Australian he has ever faced in the NBA and revealed the one trait Josh Giddey has that makes him “ahead of his time”.
Mills and Murray have faced off several times since 2016 when the latter was selected by the Nuggets with the 7th overall pick in the draft.
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However, when the two next meet it will be the first time Murray has seen Mills in Brooklyn Nets colours having spent almost his entire career with Western Conference rivals San Antonio Spurs.
No matter what, Murray knows he will be in for a rough time when he faces Mills upon his return to NBA action having been sidelined with a torn ACL since April 2021.
When quizzed on the qualities that makes Mills such a difficult prospect to play against, Murray was crystal clear.
“He runs around a lot, he hits a lot of threes,” Murray told foxsports.com.au at the opening of the NBA Gallery at EDDY at Central Station in Sydney, a pop-up exhibition that pays tribute to iconic players and moments that have shaped basketball’s growth in Australia.
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“He’s got a high motor, high energy and he’s a pest on defence. That’s why he’s the first one that comes to my mind.”
Although Mills is Murray’s answer on who the toughest Aussie to play against is, that might change this season.
The Canadian will come up against Oklahoma City star Giddey, as the Nuggets and the Thunder are rivals in the Northwest division.
Giddey enjoyed a standout rookie season in which he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double and earned the Western Conference Rookie of the Month award a whopping four consecutive times.
The 19-year-old’s season was cut short in March due to hip soreness, but Giddey looks to be primed and ready for a standout sophomore season with the Thunder.
Murray was watching the Aussie from afar and although he’s yet to take the teenager on, the Canadian was full of praise.
“I think he has a great feel for the game,” Murray said.
“He’s a great passer and he’s ahead of his time in that aspect.
“If he can get a jump shot consistently every night, I think he’ll take his game to the next level and be really hard to guard.”
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