Nets Notes: Millsap, Durant, Mills, Claxton

Free agent addition Paul Millsap turned in his best game since joining the Nets in Saturday’s loss to the Bulls, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. The veteran power forward is only averaging 11.3 minutes of playing time in 18 games, but he got an expanded opportunity with James Johnson sidelined by a shoulder injury and delivered 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

“He was great. He did a little bit of everything,” coach Steve Nash said. “He scored the ball. He was able to initiate some offense. He got some rebounds, offensive rebounds. Got some steals. Just did a bit of everything. His intensity was great and I thought his impact on the game was really good.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Kevin Durant played 38 minutes in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, and Nash hasn’t given any thought to cutting his playing time, Botte adds. Durant has only missed one game this season and welcomes the heavy workload. “Kevin’s mentality is a huge reason why he’s one of the best players of all-time,” Nash said. “He loves the game. He comes in every day and has a laser focus on his routine, he finds the most happiness when he’s on the basketball court. The success he has is really the mentality as much as it is the gifts. The joy that the game gives him makes him sacrifice every day. So to tell him, ‘Hey, we’re going to limit your minutes on a back-to-back’ is not going to get over very well.”
  • Patty Mills wasn’t expecting to be a starter when he signed with the Nets over the summer, but that has changed because of Kyrie Irving‘s absence and an injury to Joe Harris, Botte notes in a separate story. Mills made his ninth straight start Saturday and may be in that role for a while. “Patty has been great, and we’re asking for a lot from him now with guys being injured,” Durant said. “But he’s taken on that challenge, and we’re going to need a lot more from him going forward.”
  • Nash was excited to welcome back center Nicolas Claxton, who returned Friday after missing 17 games with a non-COVID illness, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “He’s an athletic, active big that can guard multiple positions, protect the rim, roll on offense and just be disruptive with his energy, length and athleticism,” Nash said. “That’s a unique profile for our team. If we can get him back to where he’s confident and comfortable physically, mentally and emotionally and adapting to our play, there’s no reason he can’t regain that.” 
View Comments (3)