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Nets and the Mavericks play a Sunday matinee

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Dallas Mavericks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Still can't do it. The Brooklyn Nets sought to win two straight games for the first time this season on Friday night. Unfortunately for them, they fell short once again and lost a close one to the Boston Celtics.

The opponent today will be the Dallas Mavericks. Although they're tenth in the Western Conference standings, it appears their chances at making the playoffs are fading fast. They played the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday and got smoked by 42 points. Amazingly, that wasn't anywhere close to the worst loss in franchise history. That "honor" goes to the 1992-1993 team that lost by 58 points to the Sacramento Kings.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio. This one’s a day game so tip off will be after noon.

Injuries

Joe Harris is out of the concussion protocol, but it's likely he's out of this game. The same goes for Sean Kilpatrick.

The Mavs are all clear on the injury reports.

The game

The Mavs won the first game last week.

Sounds as if Jeremy Lin has had enough of his minutes restriction. After Friday's game, he waved off a question about his minutes restriction after he only played 22 minutes during the back. He had played 29:53 the night before so it made sense for Kenny Atkinson to play it close to the vest. He’ll be matched up against Yogi Ferrell at point. Yogi went out there and played with something to prove the first time he saw the Nets and now that he’s back in Brooklyn, he’s gonna go extra hard. Should be quite the sight.

Year two of Wesley Matthews' time in Dallas hasn't gone well. Although he’s shooting a respectable 37.1 percent from three point range, his overall field goal percentage is only at 39.6 percent. It’s been two years since his Achilles tear and it’s extremely difficult to recover from those injuries. Matthews has been a good player throughout his career and as he gets further away from that injury, the more he should (hopefully) return to the form we’ve grown accustomed to.

Neither star big man played last Friday’s game, and they should both be on the court today. Nerlens Noel has been coming off the bench as a Mav, but it hasn’t hindered his production one bit. He’s a great rebounder, pick and roll defender, and rim protector whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, and he’s going to make a boatload of well deserved money this summer. Brook Lopez will handle things inside for the Nets. He’ll get a head start as the Mavs starting five is a bit small on the inside. If he can get rolling early, it’ll help the Nets jump out to a big lead and lessen the impact Noel can have on the game.

Player to watch: Harrison Barnes

After a disastrous 2016 Finals and nonexistent stint on Team USA over the summer, Harrison Barnes came into this season with a lot to prove. From the outside looking in, it appears that he’s been having the best season of his career. He’s averaging a career high 19.8 points a night on a solid 43.1/34.2/85.3 shooting split. His usage rate is at a career high, but his turnover rate is at a career low. That’s really impressive for a player who hasn’t been the focal point of his team’s offense since his sophomore year at UNC. The obvious comparison we can make is to the perpetually injured Chandler Parsons, and Josh Bowe of Mavs Moneyball took care of that here:

Even if Barnes were just an average or slightly below-average player, he’d still be a better deal. What you can do trumps what you could do, especially when it comes down to health. Barnes might not ever get better than he is right now, but he’ll give you 80 to 82 games of 20 points a night. You can count on that. Barnes is a real thing, Parsons is sadly still an idea.

Rondae Hollis Jefferson will be assigned to Harry B. Like Barnes, RHJ has made the move to power forward. It fits in line with the shift to small ball in today’s game, and both players have skills that can be well utilized going forward. Barnes likes to operate in the post and RHJ will have to force him off his spots and bait him into difficult jumpers.

From the Vault

One year ago today, Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers (featuring Yogi Ferrell) beat Kentucky in the second round of the tournament. One year later, Crean is out of a job. Life is cruel that way.

More reading: Mavs Moneyball