Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Australian Patrick Mills may be closer than he thought to making his NBA debut for the Portland Trailblazers. A combination of recent good form for Portland's feeder-team the Idaho Stampede and injuries to the NBA team's roster could have Mills promoted to the big time ahead of schedule.

Drafted in June and having missed the first five months with a broken bone in his foot, Mills scored 22 points including a game-winning basket in the Stampede's 109-108 win over the Reno Bighorns on Sunday. That came after a 38-point haul in his professional debut against the Bighorns on Saturday as the Stampede won 123-109.

It means Mills is averaging 30 points from two games in the development league, a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by Trailblazers head coach Nate McMillan. After point guard Steve Blake succumbed to pneumonia to become the latest Blazer out of action in a horror run for the club, McMillan suggested Mills could be called up to the big time. "We want to look to get him back," McMillan said after eyeing Mills' outstanding D-League debut.

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