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Nets come home to face the new look Mavs

"Squad Mobb Deep and we creeping on a quiet storm"
"Squad Mobb Deep and we creeping on a quiet storm"
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The strive for perfection continues. The Brooklyn Nets were aiming for their fourth straight victory and a perfect road trip, but came up short. They lost for the third time to the Miami Heat this season, falling by four points on Sunday evening. They're back under .500, but remain in the seventh position in the Eastern Conference. This is the first night of a quick three game homestand for Brooklyn.

Coming into Barclays Center will be the Dallas Mavericks. After a good 2013-2014 season, the Mavs have built on it and find themselves near the top of the Western Conference standings. This is the second night of a back-to-back. They beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland yesterday afternoon by a final score of 109-90 and extended their winning streak to five games. The Mavs are one game behind Memphis in the standings. After this, they go home for one game before heading back out on another three game road trip.

Where to follow the game

YES Network is where to go on the TV side. On the radio, WFAN has got you covered. Tip off is scheduled for a bit after 7:30.


Deron Williams is hurting but it only looks like a cramp. It sounds as if he'll be ready for this game.

Greg Smith is questionable with a strained muscle.

The game

What's up with these teams?

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn Dallas


16-17 25-10


94.53 97.12

Offensive Efficiency

100.7 112.7

Defensive Efficiency

102.8 103.8

Turnover Rate

15.1 12.5

Assist Rate

16.5 17.8

Offensive Rebounding Rate

22.9 25.3

Rebounding Rate

48.6 48.6

Free Throw Rate

27.3 26.7

Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.2 53.6

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.7 50.7

The big news with Dallas was the acquisition of Rajon Rondo on December 18. Since acquiring the Connect Four enthusiast, the team has gone 6-2. What should help Dallas going forward is Rondo's defensive ability. He said he stopped playing D for Boston, but now that he's fully healthy and doesn't have Avery Bradley to lean on, you'll see him excel at that end. It's only eight games, but the Mavs are only allowing 95.2 points per 100 possessions with Rondo on the court as compared to 108.2 when he's out of the game. For this game, should Williams play, all signs point to him coming off of the bench again. He's been playing well in that role and serves as a great change of pace against the opponent's backup. It looks as if Deron is finding his shot again. He's shot 50 percent from the field the last two games and has made four three pointers in that span. He's been managing the ball well, and if he's scoring at rates that he used to, it adds another key dimension to Brooklyn's offense.

The other big Dallas acquisition came in the summertime. Chandler Parsons left the Rockets and signed a three year, $45 million deal. As a member of the Mavs, he's taken on a bigger role than when he was paired with Dwight Howard and James Harden in Houston and hasn't really fallen off this year. Joe Johnson had a rough game in Miami but should be able to bounce back tonight. Parsons is a strong player and that should work to counteract Johnson when he goes into the low post.

Brook Lopez saw the majority of minutes at center last night, and don't be surprised if that is the case tonight against Tyson Chandler. These two have been battling each other ever since Tyson was a member of the Knicks. Chandler is probably the best example of a player excelling at the role he is given. He is someone who's job is to crash the boards, block some shots (and shoes) and convert on the offensive rebounds he collects. He's sixth in the league in win shares per 48 minutes, but does that make him the sixth best player in the league? Of course not, but does that make him a valuable contributor that always makes him team better? Yup. For Brook, Tyson will be a great test to see how his game is progressing since his return.

Player to watch: Dirk Nowitzki

It's been another solid season for the future Hall of Famer. The big guy is averaging around 19 points and six rebounds a night in only 29 minutes a game. The beauty of this season for Dirk is that even though he is shooting his worst from three point range in years and playing his fewest amount of minutes since his rookie season in 1999, the Mavs have managed to continue playing well despite it. This is probably the best collection of teammates Dirk has had since the Steve Nash and Michael Finley days. If the team is healthy by April, they have a good chance of making a deep playoff run.

I think it's safe to assume Kevin Garnett sits this one out. He's missed the second part of Brooklyn's last five back-to-back games. If he does sit, Plumlee will get the start. Even at this stage of his career, Dirk is an incredibly hard player to defend. He can draw Plumlee away from the rim and towards the three point line. With him away from the basket, it creates great opportunities for players like Monta Ellis to get to the rim.

From the Vault

This was Dallas' first playoff series since 1990. Head on back to 2001 and see if Dirk and friends could even the series against the Utah Jazz.

More reading: Mavs Moneyball