Aussies in the NBA: An Opening Night Recap

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
28/10/2023
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How Did the 10 Australian NBA Players Play on Their Opening Nights?

There are 10 men from Australia on active NBA rosters. The season has begun. Some started off hot while others, not so much.   

News Insights

  • 8/10 Aussies saw game time in game one.
  • Josh Giddey impresses in season debut.
  • Josh Green sees nearly 30 minutes on court.
  • Old guard of Aussie basketball seem to be on their last legs.

The 2023-2024 NBA season is now officially underway with every team having played at least one game. Of the 30 teams in the league, eight feature Australians, of which there are 10 in the NBA. We’ll take a look at each Aussie performance from opening night.  

Australians in the NBA 

The NBA’s opening night rosters featured 10 Australians. This number does not include Kyrie Irving who was born in Australia but moved to America at the age of two and represents the USA at international events.  
 
The 10 Aussie men playing in the NBA are as follows: Josh Giddey, Josh Green, Patty Mills, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Ben Simmons, Duop Reath, Dyson Daniels, Jock Landale, and Matisse Thybulle.  
 
Of these players, eight of them saw minutes in their teams’ opening games and the results were a mixed bag. Some, as expected, played prominent roles while others saw limited game time.  

Opening Night Recap 

Let’s start off with the man who is likely to be the face of Boomers basketball for the foreseeable future in Josh Giddey. He and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates have some real expectations on them for the first time as a group this year.  
 
They started their season on a positive note with a 20-point victory over the Chicago Bulls. In the win, Giddey played 31 minutes, scoring 16 points to go along with six rebounds and assists. These all-around numbers are to be expected from Giddey but the more exciting stat was his 2/3 from the three point line.  
 
Giddey has struggled with his three-point shot in the NBA allowing teams to constantly go under screens and cut off driving and passing lanes easier. It’s only one game, but if Josh Giddey can become a capable shooter, his game will jump to a whole other level.  
 
Next, we have Dyson Daniels. Another young, former lottery pick, Daniels is still looking to find his role on a deep Pelicans squad. He played 18 minutes off the bench in a win against Memphis scoring six points and grabbing five boards while shooting 3/6 from the floor.  
 
The other young Australian Josh Green played a key role for the Dallas Mavericks in their opening night win. Green played 29 minutes and scored 11 points, going 3/5 from the field and 2/2 from three.  
 
Green’s teammate, Dante Exum played a much smaller role in the win registering only seven minutes and three points. The former fifth overall pick is looking to rekindle his NBA career after playing overseas for the past three years.  
 
2016 first overall pick Ben Simmons had a mediocre game scoring just four points but registering 10 rebounds and nine assists. He started the game but played only 22 minutes with Cam Thomas cutting into his gametime. 
 
Jock Landale and his new team Houston lost by 30 to the Orlando Magic. Landale only got in the game for eight minutes scoring three points.  
 
Matisse Thybulle started for the Portland Trail Blazers and played 20 minutes scoring eight points. His Australian teammate Duop Reath is the newest member of the NBA from down under but failed to get into game action in their opening night loss.

Mills and Ingles Appear to be Coming to the End of Their Careers 

Two stalwarts of Australia basketball over the past 10 years Joe Ingles and Patty Mills may be seeing their NBA careers coming to a close.  
 
Ingles played a respectable 18 minutes for the Orlando Magic but failed to score going 0/3 from the floor. Mills on the other hand didn’t get into the game as his Atlanta Hawks fell to the Indiana Pacers.  

There will be plenty of chances to watch Australia’s top talent in the NBA this year with 10 players on eight different teams. Some have defined roles and will be key factors in their teams’ seasons while others will battle for minutes and look to impact games where they can.