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Live Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 PM EST

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Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Happy New Year, all. Time to pick up where we left off - except for, you know, that whole losing to a terrible basketball team thing that left a bad taste in our mouths as 2019 closed.

Brooklyn will open 2020 against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks; a very good basketball team with a very elite basketball player.

The Nets will once again be without Kyrie Irving, for who knows how long, and Caris LeVert for, well, who knows how long. Spencer Dinwiddie continues to make his All-Star case, but just having one player playing consistent basketball isn’t going to cut it. Especially not against a team as good as the Mavs.

So, here goes, happy 2020, hopefully the Nets can get it kicked off properly.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (16-16) at Dallas Mavericks (21-12)

WHEN: 8:30 PM EST

WHERE: YES Network (tv), WCBS 880am (radio)

Game Preview

What can you say? [Luke Doncic] has exceeded every expectation imaginable and is solidly in the top tier of NBA players. He’s third in scoring and assists, tops in triple doubles, and has brought the Mavs out of their mid decade blues. You very rarely land star players that are this good this soon, and as Doncic gets even more experience and has some playoff appearances under his belt, he can grow to become even better than what he is right now.

Life is hard when you get thrown into a leading role out of nowhere. Spencer Dinwiddie has had to be the leading man on the Nets ever since Irving went down due to injury, and it might be starting to catch up to him. When LeVert gets back, it will take a major burden off his shoulders as he’ll have another playmaker to share duties with.

For more on the Mavs, check out Mavs Moneyball.

On the plus side, the Mavericks have only played 66 crunch time minutes (score within five in the last five minutes of a game) this season. That means that by and large they’ve been good enough this season to not have that many close games.

However, on the negative side, they’ve got the 28th most efficient offense in those situations. While it may be factually true, I don’t understand how to reconcile that data with Dallas having the best offense in the league.