3 things veteran guard Patty Mills immediately brings to Miami Heat

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat made a move on Tuesday by bringing in veteran point guard Patty Mills, who was recently released by the Atlanta Hawks.

The 35-year-old is set to take Dru Smith’s roster spot. Smith, of course, underwent season-ending surgery months ago and last played for the Heat in late November.

As someone who has been in the league for many years, Mills brings lots of valuable things to the table for Miami. Here are some of those things.

1. Shooting, shooting and guess what? Some more shooting

When one thinks about Mills, his shooting is probably the first thing that comes to mind. He’s a career 38.9 percent shooter from beyond the arc and has one of the most textbook shooting forms out there. It might be the prettiest one I’ve ever seen, though I’m also a sucker for Jordan Hawkins’ jump shot.

While the Heat are shooting 37.4 percent from deep as a team this season (good for 11th in the NBA), their bench makes just 34.2 percent from distance. That mark is 22nd in the entire league. Remember, the NBA has a total of 30 teams, so that ranking is…not good to say the least.

Mills will likely come off the bench for Miami, and he’ll undoubtedly help improve that number. A team can never have enough shooting, especially come playoff time.

Having such a lethal shooter off the bench is so important. Imagine Mills has a performance similar to the one Mike Miller did against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals. For those who don’t remember, Miller came off the bench to make SEVEN!!! 3-pointers.

Ah man, I’ve now talked myself into believing that Mills will have the same type of performance in a playoff game this season. Hopefully for him and Miami, it’ll come in a closeout Finals game.

2. Leadership and championship experience

Mills has played in a total of 95 playoff games in his career, making it to the Finals twice (both appearances coming against the Heat).

Plenty will recall the Australian torching the Heat in the 2014 Finals, recording 10.2 points in just 15.2 minutes per game on 54.3 percent shooting from the field and 56.5 percent shooting from deep. I know Heat fans still have nightmares about that.

Even if the Heat make it to the Finals this season and Mills doesn’t get lots of minutes, he’d still be able to provide some valuable tips to a player like Terry Rozier, who hasn’t made it to the championship series in his career.

A former second-round pick, Mills knows what it’s like to be a role player (only 107 starts in his 879 regular season appearances) as well as a star (the role he plays for the Australian national team).

He’s never seemed like a selfish player, and he even won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2022. The award is honored to the player who “best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.”

I wish that award was given out at my local YMCA. Perhaps then there wouldn’t be so many arguments over who fouled who and whether or not someone traveled or carried the ball. One can only wish.

3. Awesome fashion sense

Okay, maybe this might not help all that much on the court, but come on, take a look at his Instagram and tell me you’re not impressed.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Patty Mills AM (@balapat)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Patty Mills AM (@balapat)

The fashion sense is so good, he might as well stay in his street clothes until it’s time to check into a game. I’m sure some people at Heat games could learn a thing or two from him.

On a more serious note, Mills has tons of respect around the league. Kevin Durant, a former teammate of Mills, recently praised him.

He also offers tips and tricks to his social media followers on how to improve their basketball skills.


Little slomo for you guys… #nbatraining #basketballtiktok #basketball1v1 #3pointshooter #pattymills

♬ Still Hot – Nic D & Connor Price


Advanced 3 point drills by @DJSackmann #basketballcoaching #nbatiktok #basketballdrills #3pointshooter #pattymills

♬ MELTDOWN (feat. Drake) (Instrumental) – Travis Scott

Signing Mills doesn’t guarantee that the Heat will win a title this season, but there’s a lot to like about it. The 6-foot-2 point guard is easily one of the best players Miami could’ve secured at this point.

Mills might not play all that much during the stretch run of the 2023-24 season, but the Heat will surely be a better team because of him. It’s currently unknown when he will be available to make his Heat debut.

Miami’s next game comes on Tuesday night at home against the Detroit Pistons.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.