The Brooklyn Nets enter Monday night on a 2-game win streak and some nice momentum. That’s the good news. The bad news? They have to try and find a way to stop Luka Doncic and his buddies in order to to keep the win streak alive.
Dallas sits atop the NBA in ORTG thanks in big part to the play of Doncic. The Nets, meanwhile, have one of the game’s all-time great scorers in Kevin Durant who is on top of his game as we speak.
The Nets have shown these past few games that they have the firepower to run with anyone - and some good news for them as they get Ben Simmons back on the court - so here’s hoping they can keep that offense humming and the winning streak alive in Dallas.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (4-6) at Dallas Mavericks (5-3)
WHEN: 9:45 p.m. est
WHERE: YES Network (tv), WFAN-FM (radio)
Jacque Vaughn talked about raising the level of frenzy and unpredictability on defense this weekend. Brooklyn did just that, albeit against two teams that could combine to start ten guys and not score as often as Dallas. The Nets should still dance with who brought them, though.
I’d predict that they play a more aggressive coverage against Doncic and the Mavericks that involves consistently sending two guys too the ball, forcing it out of Luka’s hands. I started this article by highlighting how Brooklyn got good offense when Charlotte doubled Durant, but so be it. This is a risk you have to take. Luka’s passing and decision-making makes him a different animal. Rely on that chaos that the role players are playing with right now, and force Dorian Finney-Smith or Maxi Kleber to decide the fate of Dallas’ possessions. Just be ready to scramble. Brooklyn was more than ready this past weekend.
As for Simmons return, he told media Monday morning that he was doing fine and was ready to go, even with restrictions.
“Yeah, I’ll be in (Monday). I’ll be in; I think I’ve got like 20 minutes,” Simmons said at the Nets’ morning shootaround. “I feel great. It took a few days to get some rehab in, get it right. So I’m feeling great.”
“I don’t want to make that an excuse, but I had a swollen knee. It is what it is, but it’s taken care of now, so I’m glad I’m moving (well),” said Simmons, adding his back injury likely played a role in his knee swelling up.
For more on the Mavs, check out Mavs Moneyball.