By: Roy Ward
Source: TEG Live
All nine could be selected for the Australian Boomers side to face USA Basketball in two much anticipated games at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Thursday 22 August and Saturday 24 August 2019. Limited tickets for both games are still available through Ticketmaster.
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Simmons has the NBA world at his feet entering his second full season as he has the potential to become one of the NBA’s superstars. While Simmons starred as a playmaker winning NBA rookie of the year last season, this time Sixers coach Brett Brown has challenged Simmons to become an elite defender and earn more visits to the free throw line.
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
Ingles took his game to new levels last season, ranking among the NBA’s best three-point shooters while continuing to give the rising Jazz side a mix of defence, passing and poise just as he has done for the Boomers over three Olympics and two FIBA World Cups.
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Mills was once the baby of Australian basketball, now in his ninth NBA season he is the longest serving Aussie in the league and the longest serving Spurs player. The Canberra-raised point guard has a huge job ahead of him mentoring younger Spurs and playing key minutes as his club looks to content in the tough Western conference.
Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics)
Baynes returns for his second season in Boston and his Celtics have high hopes of winning the East and making it to the NBA Finals with Baynes a big part of that with his tough inside defence, his rebounding and his fast-improving finishing skills around the basket.
Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)
Exum showed in last season’s NBA playoffs that he could be a match-winner with his defensive skills and drives to the basket. This season is his chance to show his talents for a full campaign and the Jazz have faith in Exum after re-signing him for three seasons.
Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks)
‘Delly’ is still one of Australia’s best loved NBA players but he faces a challenge to re-gain minutes in the Bucks side after injuries and coaching changes saw his game time dip last season. He will still hustle, organise and defend whenever called upon.
Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks)
Maker enters his all-important third season desperate to prove his talents can make a difference in NBA games but, like his teammate Dellavedova, finding that game time is tough on a deep Bucks team. Maker’s blocks and dunks are always a highlight.
Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers)
Bolden is in his rookie season after playing in Europe for two years, but he has the talent to work his way into the 76ers rotation with his long body, rebounding skills and range on the three-point line.
Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks)
Broekhoff’s elevation to the NBA is long overdue after a decorated career in Europe and with the Boomers. He brings his sweet shooting and a friendly demeanour to Dallas, just as they prepare to start a new era after drafting Luka Doncic.
On the NBA fringes
Former NBL stars Mitch Creek and Isaac Humphries and former college swingman Deng Adel all had stints with NBA teams during preseason, however are yet to secure contracts. Don’t rule them out of the NBA as they could be picked up by G-League teams and that will leave them only a call-up away from the big league.
Secure your tickets today for Australian Boomers vs USA Basketball
Thursday 22 August 2019
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Tip Off: 7.30pm
Saturday 24 August 2019
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Tip Off: 2.00pm