Timmins enjoying being back at home

Otago Nuggets centre Sam Timmins enjoys a shoot-around at the Edgar Centre yesterday.PHOTO: PETER...
Otago Nuggets centre Sam Timmins enjoys a shoot-around at the Edgar Centre yesterday.PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Forget slamming Sam.

Smiling Sam is a far more threatening opponent.

Otago Nuggets centre Sam Timmins had a big night last Saturday.

He led his side to a convincing 93-66 win against the Taranaki Mountainairs.

He knocked down 22 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, made five assists, poached a couple of steals and let out one epic roar after swatting away the ball for one of his three blocks.

It was the most fun he has had on a basketball court in some time.

The 23-year-old is back playing with the guys he grew up with and he has been given the freedom to play the way he likes to play the game.

"Honestly, it is just fun to have the ball in my hands more," Timmins said.

"I think the best part about the offence that [coach Brent] Matehaere has us running is it is so free-flowing that anyone can grab the ball and go and make a play. I’m not stuck on the block just waiting to get a post up."

Timmins had four years at the University of Washington where he was a roll player for the Huskies.

He returned to New Zealand last year and played for the Franklin Bulls and then had a stint in Estonia.

But Dunedin is home and the Nuggets is the team he grew watching.

"Without a doubt it is the most fun I’ve had playing basketball in a long time, so that is the main thing.

"Walking in here [the Edgar Centre] for a shoot-around on game day and seeing the stands all set up how it was when I used to watch back in the day, and to be able to play in front of that home crowd with all the guys I played with [growing up] was, well, it has come full circle.

"And to get a win was the cherry on top."

The Nuggets host the Manawatu Jets tonight.

The Jets will be backing up from their match against the Canterbury Rams in Christchurch last night.

Timmins will match up with Shane Temara, who is a solid rebounder.

American forward DeAndre Daniels knows his way around the paint, as well. The 29-year-old was picked up by the Toronto Raptors as the 37th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

He played eight games in the D-League in 2015-16 and his resume also includes a stint with the Perth Wildcats in the Australian NBL in 2014-15.

The main scoring threats for the Jets are guards Daishon Knight and Jayden Bezzant.

The Nuggets will lean heavily on Isaiah Moss to get the score moving. He is a player who looks to have a few extra seconds whenever he is in possession.

He top-scored with 28 points in the win against Taranaki.

Point guard Richard Rodger brings a lot of hustle. He nabbed five steals in that game which was impressive.

And Josh Aitcheson’s all-round game means the Jets will not be able to go to sleep on him.

And then there is smiling Sam.

If he is having fun, the Jets should be worried.

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