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Nets come home to start homestand vs. Mavs

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Generational. Fresh off a great win against the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets hit the road for a quick trip down south against the Orlando Magic. Powered by Kyrie Irving setting a career and franchise record for points, the Nets cruised to a 42 point win last night. The W was their fourth in a row and the team is back in gear after a rocky stretch coming out of the All Star break.

The opponent tonight will be the Dallas Mavericks. Jason Kidd and friends have been one of the best teams in the league over the past few months and are hoping to go on a deep playoff run this spring. They helped the cause some by coming away with a last second win against the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon.

Where to follow the game

YES Network and ESPN on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7:30 p.m.

Injuries

No Joe Harris, Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, or LaMarcus Aldridge. Seth Curry and Cam Thomas sat last night with their respective injuries. We’ll see if they’re back on the court this evening. Kyrie Irving will not be eligible for this and 11 of the next 14 games.

Tim Hardaway Jr is out after undergoing foot surgery. Reggie Bullock is away from the team for personal reasons. Theo Pinson is out with a finger fracture. Marquess Chriss is out with knee soreness.

The game

Brooklyn won the first game back in December.

The odds for this one are up in the air. We’ve got two good teams that are playing well and have dreams of making deep playoff runs. Should be an exciting one.

Everybody OK with watching Kyrie’s 60 piece again? Cool? Cool!

My oh my.

In one of the bigger surprises of the season, the Mavs have been one of the best defensive teams in the league. They are currently seventh in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing only 107.7 points per 100 possessions. How have they done it? Over at Mavs Moneyball, Xavier Santos gave props to the coaching staff, writing:

Jason Kidd and his staff deserve a ton of credit for how this team has performed on the defensive end. In Milwaukee, his teams were extremely aggressive against the pick and roll. Too aggressive really, as that aggressiveness put a ton of pressure on the back line and it burned them within a season as opponents adjusted. With Porzingis gone, Kidd understands Dallas lacks a true rim protector and is using sound rotations and team defense to help contain opposing offenses. He is implementing a scheme that understands the strengths and weaknesses of his personnel rather than forcing his players to execute a scheme that doesn’t fit them. The success of the Mavericks in the first round will be matchup dependent but it is refreshing to see that Kidd has been adaptable in his first season as head coach.

Kidd and his staff have made it work so far, and as we head into the playoffs, we’ll see what they do to stay ahead of the competition.

When we last saw our old friend Spencer Dinwiddie, he was stuck on a bad Washington Wizards team and trying to figure out where he stood on the court and within the franchise. He got traded to the Mavs at the and he’s back to looking like he was when he was with the Nets. Since the move, Din is averaging around 18 points and five assists on a .508/.442/.691 shooting split. He’s driving to the basket more as a Mav and has made a career best 67.9 percent of his shots within three feet in Dallas so far. It’s always fun to see our guys do well in new environments. Shouts to him.

Bruce Brown didn’t shoot well last night, but he’s been wonderful in recent weeks. Brown will have some tough assignments tonight, but he’ll be up for it and will be a pest on defense for the Mavs.

Pace is going to be of the utmost importance tonight. Since the All Star break, Dallas is last in the NBA in pace t 94 possessions a game. Since the break, the Nets have made it a point to speed up and get out in transition more frequently. If Brooklyn is able to limit their turnovers and control the boards, they’ll be able to control the pace and get on the run.

Nic Claxton and Andre Drummond will look to keep the good times rolling. Clax got the majority of the minutes last night and came away with a super impressive double double in 23 minutes. He made a lot happen in transition and had some great finishes at the rim. He and Drum give the Nets a great inside presence on defense and if they can continue playing well, they give opponents a solid change of pace. Blake Griffin made a guest appearance last night and played well in his opportunity. BG is out of the rotation, but he’s stayed ready and is good vibes 24/7.

Choose your all-time great Dallas Mavericks x Phoenix Suns point guard:

BKN-MAVERICKS-SUNS-04 Photo by MIKE FIALA/AFP via Getty Images
Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Fun times.

Assuming Thomas and Curry are out again, we might see Kessler Edwards again. Edwards looked pretty great last night and finally had some success finishing at the cup after a rough stretch when he was regularly in the rotation. Goran Dragic and Patty Mills will look to help out and keep things running smoothly as well.

Player to watch: Luka Doncic

We didn’t get this main event matchup in the Gold Medal game, so tonight will have to do. The reigning Western Conference player of the week, Luka Doncic, is back at it again. He’s fourth in the NBA in triple doubles, fifth in assists, fifth in scoring, but unfortunately second in turnovers and first in technical fouls. Doncic has been everything Mavs fans could’ve dreamed of and with his team close to having home court advantage in the first round for the first time since the 2010-2011 NBA championship season, things are looking up. Doncic

The beauty about having your teammate go for 60 points is you get to take a backseat and enjoy the show. The reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, Kevin Durant, had a damn good 21-5-7 game in 30 minutes, but when someone sets a franchise NBA record, that gets most of the attention. KD had an easy day at the office, which turned out to be super valuable for the Nets as he’s running the show tonight. Last time Durant ran things, he scored 53 against the Knicks on ABC. With this being an ESPN game and an elite opponent on the other side, look for another KD masterclass for the hometown faithful. Durant rained hell down on the Mavs in the first meeting and the Mavs will throw everything they can at him to slow him down.

From the Vault

It’s 3:16!

More reading: Mavs Moneyball

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