UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Milton Doyle entered Tuesday’s Long Island Nets game against the Maine Red Claws with fresh legs and a renewed confidence.
Before the break, Doyle rode a hot hand. Just a mere two games ago, Doyle had his best performance of the season, making a franchise-record 11 3-pointers to go along with a near triple-double of 42 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.
“I was just in the zone,” said Doyle, a two-way player with the Brooklyn Nets. “I really didn’t know what was going on, just hitting shots. When I hit a few, I felt like I can hit anything.”
It’s with that confidence that Doyle posted a performance of 25 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals, leading Long Island to a 105-98 victory in its first game back from the NBA All-Star break.
Being a two-way player for Brooklyn, Doyle is appreciative of the opportunity that is before him.
“It’s great — you get to experience a little bit of everything,” he said. “Playing [in the G League], you get a lot of minutes and playing [in the NBA] — you get to experience what it’s like to be around those guys and that talent.”
Doyle has not been alone in his journey as he’s received help along the way from his Brooklyn teammates.
“All the guards: D’Angelo [Russell], Spencer [Dinwiddie], DeMarre Carroll,” he listed. “They’re the ones that look out for me and make sure I’m doing the right things.”
Doyle has been doing the right things, as he ranks top-10 in the NBA G League in triples per game (3.3), a big improvement from the 1.2 he averaged during his four years of college ball at Loyola.
“Just during the draft process, that was a thing I really wanted to focus on,” Doyle recalled about improving his three-point stroke. “[In the G League], there’s so much freedom and room on the court that you just have to take those shots. In college, it’s more of a smaller court, and guys are on you more especially when you’re the main guy. But with the guys I got, they give me open shots.”
Doyle sees himself as an underdog, having entered the league undrafted. But Doyle sees that this moniker defines his squads on Long Island and in Brooklyn.
“Just always being the underdog, you’ve got to prove a point,” said Doyle. “I think that’s the identity of [Long Island and] identically with the Brooklyn team — just sticking with that mentality.”
It’s with that underdog mentality that Long Island currently sits 3.5 games behind the Westchester Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.
Doyle was recently named NBA G League Player of the Week for February 5, but he said the honor will not affect how he plays the game heading into the stretch run.
“I’m going to try and do the same thing I’ve been doing, don’t hold anything back and just play the same way,” said Doyle. “Don’t let any award or anything determine what I’m going to do.”