Extra Pass: How will Nets fare in Mills' return to San Antonio?

Published January 21, 2022, 3:30 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Ex-Spur Patty Mills and the Brooklyn Nets visit San Antonio tomorrow on NBA TV Philippines (via Smart GigaPlay app).

What’s up with the Brooklyn Nets?

It’s been a rough month for the Brooklyn Nets. Sure, they got the half-and-half version of Kyrie Irving, who’s alternating home-and-away games for the time being. But they lost Kevin Durant to an injury. Durant joined Nic Claxton, Joe Harris, and Paul Millsap on the sidelines. 

James Harden had to carry the brunt of it all for the Nets, but even his throwback MVP tendencies aren’t enough. The Nets are now 28-16, only third behind the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat in the East.

The Nets have been on a weird win-lose alternating pattern since January 6—a kind of on-again, off-again deal not unlike the Irving situation.

If this purely coincidental, bizarre pattern holds up in an away game versus the San Antonio Spurs, they’ll get Irving again. But they’ll also take the L.

What’s up with the San Antonio Spurs?

If the Nets are having a rough January, then the Spurs are having it worse. At 17-28, the Spurs are well outside of the play-in tournament.

In their 12 games this month, they’ve only won three, beating the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. There were a couple of close ones that the Spurs couldn’t finish, including an overtime game against the Nets.

The Spurs were one of the teams hit by a mix of injuries and the safety and health protocols blip. They missed several key players here and there, including Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker.

The team is complete now and Murray is back on his nightly triple-double threat.

Storyline to watch out for

It’s already been a few months but seeing Patty Mills in a non-Spurs jersey still feels off. Good thing Brooklyn’s tones are not that far off from San Antonio’s. This Spurs home game marks the first time Mills will be suiting up at the AT&T Center in Nets threads. 

It might get a bit emotional for the beloved ex-Spur and for the fans who surely miss him.


Even without KD, the Nets obviously have the advantage of depth. Plus, Harden has been more than willing to accept the star role again. Remember when he dropped 61 points against the Spurs in 2019? It’s unlikely he’ll do that again. But a Harden triple-double isn’t far-fetched.  

Murray is also on that triple-double train, and if he gets it going, the Nets might have another difficult one on their hands. Predicting the Nets will win a close one with Mills delivering one of those memorable homecoming performances.

How to watch

You can catch the game tomorrow at 9:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines, which is available on Smart’s GigaPlay app and Cignal TV.