Following a breakout season including a 14-point third quarter en route to winning the NBA Finals in Game 5, San Antonio Spurs PG Patty Mills had surgery on an injured rotator cuff. The injury could keep him out up to about January or February. In years past, this may not have been a big deal, but Mills was huge for San Antonio during the 2014-15 season and his absence will most definitely be felt.
How will the Spurs handle the first half of the regular season without the backup PG? Most Spurs fans are very familiar with Cory Joseph, another backup PG for San Antonio, as well as Kyle Anderson who was taken in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. Look for both players to get plenty of time at PG while possibly sharing some time with veteran guard Manu Ginobili.
Joseph has plenty of experience as the Spurs PG. He was the main backup during the 2013-14 season and even played in some big moments for the Spurs. Most notably, Joseph filled in a bit for Tony Parker in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals when Parker sat due to a nagging ankle injury. Joseph is a solid defender who can score when needed. He’s not the shooter Mills can be, but he is tight with the ball and on defense. Joseph’s ability to not turn the ball over obviously makes him a top candidate.
Anderson has been hailed as a prototypical Spurs player, and his passing ability makes him such a good fit for San Antonio. As a backup PG, Anderson’s passing makes him a valuable option as a player who can distribute the ball to scorers on the second unit such as Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli and Ginobili. As a rookie, Gregg Popovich and the coaching staff will make sure that Anderson is prepared to play before he is put on the floor.
In short, don’t worry about the Spurs’ options at point guard. The organization has a few players who can fill in while Mills’ is out and contribute immediately. San Antonio has consistently fought for the best record in history while sitting most of their players for multiple games and dealing with injuries. The Spurs will deal with Mills’ injury, continue to excel and stay on top of the league no matter who plays.