How To Net The Win: Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs 12-26-17

Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs

Game Day: Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET

Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

TV: YES Network, FOX Sports Southwest

Projected Starters

Injuries

The Brooklyn Nets return to the road after a brief holiday hiatus, to take on the San Antonio Spurs. Beating a 23-11 Spurs team will be quite a feat for the 12-20 Nets, and it could certainly be considered a late Christmas gift to Nets fans if they accomplish this.

The Nets have not exactly fared well against San Antonio, let alone in San Antonio. As a franchise (New York Nets, New Jersey Nets and Brooklyn Nets combined), the Nets boast a 21-68 record against the Spurs. Brooklyn also comes into this contest having lost 14 straight games to the Spurs in the AT&T Center. Essentially, it would be one for the books if the Nets emerge victorious in this contest.

This game is the first of two meetings between the two teams, with the second to come in mid-January. Both teams stand at near-opposite ends of the spectrum. The Spurs sit in third place in the Western Conference and are coming off a win against the Sacramento Kings, while the Nets are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Milton Doyle debut?

The Nets wasted no time a week before Christmas to immediately replace the waived Yakuba Ouattara  (who was on a two-way contract with the team) with Milton Doyle. Prior to joining the team, Doyle showcased a variety of skills with the club’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. The 24-year-old played 19 games with Long Island (18 of which he started) and posted 21.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.8 minutes per game. Considering Brooklyn’s shortage of guards with D’Angelo Russell still out and Isaiah Whitehead bouncing around the home club and G League affiliate as well, it would not hurt to bring Doyle onboard. He has not played yet, though.

Doyle has technically been active for Brooklyn’s last three games, but was not played by Kenny Atkinson. If the game gets out of control rather quickly, I anticipate the Loyola product getting some time to shine. Even without that happening, however, midseason newcomers sitting out for the first three contests seems to be the sweet spot for Atkinson. Exhibits A and B: Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas (discounting the Mexico City matchup against the Thunder since it would have been impossible for them to make it over there in time).

Kawhi Leonard could be back, but will he be in a limited role?

Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has missed a whole lot of games this season — you can count how many he has played on one hand — and only very recently made his season debut (December 12 against the Dallas Mavericks). Since then, “The Claw” has rested in a couple of games that were part of back-to-back sets.