Wednesday, March 20, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Mavericks
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets are in Dallas Wednesday night for Game 2 of their eight-game circus road trip.
Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here's what we'll be watching for:
D-WILL RETURNS TO BIG D: Deron Williams, who grew up in the Dallas area, flirted with the idea of signing with Dallas in the offseason before signing a five-year, $98 million max deal to remain with Brooklyn.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who was too busy filming "Shark Tank," didn't attend his organization's meeting with D-Will during free agency. If Cuban had been at the meeting, D-Will admitted, maybe things would've turned out differently. Cuban was flattered, but called out Williams for throwing the Nets' organization under the bus. Cuban also said the Mavericks were better off without Williams.
Williams is making Cuban eat those words right now, averaging 23.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting from the field since the All-Star break. The Nets (39-28) are on the verge of playing in the postseason for the first time since 2007. Meanwhile, the Mavericks (32-35) are on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in.
Wonder if the two will have a chat Wednesday night.
"Usually, I get cheers," Williams said of playing in Dallas, according to Newsday. "Now I'll probably get booed. I don't know why. I didn't leave. I never said I was going to go there."
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote that D-Will doesn't deserve to be booed. Cuban wouldn't tell MacMahon he wants the fans to boo Williams. He also didn't make the trip to Brooklyn the last time the two teams played because "I don't need to be on the back page of the New York Post."
THE AVENGERS: The Mavericks beat the Nets 98-90 on March 1 at Barclays Center. Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter each had 20 points, and D-Will committed a season-high seven turnovers.
Brooklyn has lost six of its past seven against Dallas. The Nets are also 23-4 against sub-.500 opponents. The Mavericks have made the playoffs in each of the past 12 seasons.
INJURY UPDATE: Keith Bogans (ankle) will play, the team announced. Kris Humphries (back) is a game-time decision. Humphries has not played in the past seven games since being pulled from the rotation.