Patty Mills once beat the Heat in the NBA Finals. He's looking to make amends in Miami now

Patty Mills once beat the Heat in the NBA Finals.  He's looking to make amends in Miami now

MIAMI (AP) — Patty Mills still remembers the upset when Miami beat San Antonio in the 2013 NBA Finals. He knows Heat fans may not have forgiven him for his role in the Spurs topping the Heat the following season in a rematch of the title series.

Mills is hoping to win over those fans now.

The Heat's newest member was with the team in Dallas on Thursday in his first game in a Miami uniform, after signing a deal a day earlier for the remainder of the season. At 35 years old, he believes he can still offer a lot to a contender — which is why he wanted to be in Miami, and he already sees similarities between the Heat culture and the way the Spurs operated during his nine years in San Antonio.

“I think where I've been in my career and what I've actually been able to achieve, being part of a culture like that, a winning environment, having one goal in mind and understanding that the different aspects of people who play their part to be able to achieve the goal, that's for sure,” Mills said. “It's the backbone of who I am and what I come from and what my values ​​are.” “I think there are a lot of values ​​that go with the culture here.”

Mills had a 14-point third quarter for the Spurs in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals, going 4-for-4 on 3-pointers in a 4-minute span of that period and that outburst pretty much ensured the title run wouldn't end. Don't skip that night in San Antonio. The Spurs clinched the title with a 104-87 win, the last game that LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would play together as Heat teammates.

Mills played sparingly in 19 games for Atlanta as a backup this season before being waived on February 29, in time to maintain his postseason eligibility with another team. The Heat will become the fifth team Mills plays with in the NBA, along with San Antonio, Portland, Brooklyn and the Hawks.

“I think he's another good player for a lot of different reasons,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before Miami's game in Dallas on Thursday. “Stylistically, the way he plays, the way he competes. Offensively, he can create space, his pick-and-roll game, his dribble game is something that's already in our system. And then his professionalism and his leadership and all those things are added values ​​to what we have.” .

“And also, I'm tired of being on the other side of it being a heat kill,” Spoelstra added. “Having him join us, it's really good. I have deep respect for him.”

Mills has plenty of big-game experience — 95 NBA playoff games, two trips to the NBA Finals (both with the Spurs, both against Miami), four trips to the conference finals, and he's a four-time Olympian for Australia. Mills plans to be with the Boomers for their fifth Olympic appearance this summer at the Paris Games.

“If you look at it over the next few months, you know what's on the table in terms of goals that need to be achieved,” Mills said. “I'm very excited to put all my eggs in one basket here. I expect it to be a good few months ahead, starting here with the Heat and then going to Paris with the Boomers.”

The Heat valued his experience and needed more depth at the goaltending position after Josh Richardson – who dislocated his shoulder in a game against Boston last month – elected to have surgery this week that ended any chance of him returning before next season. Miami agreed to the deal with Mills on Tuesday, the same day it was announced that Richardson would undergo postseason processing on Wednesday.

“It's unfortunate,” Spoelstra said. “Some of these things happen. You can't control him. He's got a great spirit, the surgery went really well. We're looking forward to rehabilitating him and getting him ready for next year.”

The Heat created roster space for Mills by waiving injured guard Drew Smith, who is rehabilitating after an ACL injury. Spoelstra noted that the Heat still have Smith in their future plans by saying that the team “will still be able to help him with his rehab.”



(Tags for translation)Miami Heat

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