Sunday, March 23, 2014
W2W4: Nets at Mavs
By Mike Mazzeo
Jason Kidd will coach his first game in Dallas on Sunday night, when the Brooklyn Nets face the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
Back on the road: The Nets (36-31) went 3-0 on their three-game homestand, and have won 11 straight games at Barclays Center. But now they’re back on the road, and tipping off a three-game trip in Dallas. Brooklyn has an away record of 13-20. The Nets, though, are 9-2 in March. Kidd was drafted by the Mavericks and won his only championship as a player there in 2011. Wonder if Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will fire a couple more shots at Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
D-Will goes home: Deron Williams grew up in suburban Dallas. The Mavericks courted him in the summer of 2012. We know how that went. We know what their owner said. Anyway, Williams should have plenty of family and friends at the game, and he’ll probably be motivated. Last season, Williams had 31 points in Brooklyn’s victory in Dallas. In his previous three games, Williams is averaging 19.7 points and 6.0 assists on 65.6 percent shooting. The Nets are plus-38 with him on the court in that span.
Dirk and the Mavs: The Nets beat the Mavericks by one on Jan. 24. Containing Dirk Nowitzki is going to be key, and it’s going to have to be a team effort. Nowitzki is averaging a team-high 21.5 points per game. Dallas likes to take a lot of 3-pointers, so Brooklyn is going to have to close out and run them off the arc.