Australian basketball fans will tell you that Josh Giddey is a unique player and has now done something that none of his contemporaries did.
Just over a week after posting a triple-double, Australian young gun Josh Giddey did something that no NBA player has done in half a century.
The 19-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder Guard, known for his incisive passing game, finished the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday afternoon (AEDT) with 10 rebounds and 10 assists on his behalf – but did not score a single point.
It is the first time in 50 years that a player has scored a double-double without a goal.
Three-time NBA All-Star Norm Van Lier did the same when he played for the Chicago Bulls in 1971, the year he led the NBA in assists.
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Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said he could see that Giddey was “frustrated” because he couldn’t score.
“If you play 82 games (in one season), long minutes, night after night, there will be many ups and downs,” he said after the game.
“There will be times when you are on the rhythm, there will be times when your body is sore, there will be times when you will feel like your shooting is effortless.
“You have to be able to find a certain consistency and to tap into the things that you can rely on every night and that you can control every night. He has to be credited for having thought, for much of the game, that he controlled much of what he could control.
“I think he was frustrated with the shooting and who can blame him?”
Daigneault said he hoped Giddey would be stronger for the experience.
“At some point you just have to come over and lose yourself in the game,” he said.
“I think it was a good lesson for him to be able to play this through. There won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. “
The Thunder managed to score a five-point win against the Pelicans even without Giddey’s name on the score sheet.
In the teams ‘last encounter, Pelicans Guard Devonte’ Graham landed a buzzing three-pointer from 19 yards to break the hearts of Thunder and steal a three-point win.
Giddey played an entire quarter in this game for the first time in his young NBA career.
Jock has landed
Jock Landale has outdone himself.
The towering Aussie delivered the most damaging performance of his young NBA career on Monday afternoon (AEDT), helping his San Antonio Spurs to a huge win against the Detroit Pistons 144-109.
The 2020/21 NBL Grand Final MVP caught the attention of Spurs and Team USA coach Gregg Popovich during the Boomers’ bronze medalist campaign at the Tokyo Games, but initially battled for constant minutes when he joined the Spurs this season came.
He was promoted to the back-up center for the game against the Sacramento Kings earlier this month and has grown steadily since then.
Landale came hair-raising close to his first NBA double double in defeating the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Eve (AEDT), but was even more devastating three days later against the fighting Pistons.
The 211 cm tall Australian landed seven of his nine attempts from the field and achieved a career high of 18 points in less than 17 minutes of play.
With five rebounds and one block, he also achieved his personal best in assists (three).
Exhausted from the league’s Covid-19 protocols and languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference ladder, the Pistons had no answer for Landale and Co.
The Spurs had their highest grand total of the season in shellac and have now won each of their last three games with at least 20 points each.
Full-time, coach Popovich praised Landales’ basketball cleverness.
“He’s an intuitive player. He knows how to play the game, ”he said.
“He understands what’s going on, he’s good with the ball, good passer. Make good decisions. He’s not trying to do things that he is unable to do. He’s playing a smart game. “
The praise for Landale did not end there. Landale’s Spurs teammate Tre Jones said the Australian played “insane” basketball in his first NBA season.
“I’m very happy for him. He is a competitor and very versatile on offense and can stretch the ground. He always competes, ”said Jones.
Landale will face Boomers teammate Joe Ingles for the second time this season when the Spurs meet Utah Jazz on Tuesday afternoon (AEDT).