Setting the Table: Brooklyn Nets (Game 58)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 1, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

8501832512_5fa1fc74fd_z

The Dallas Mavericks (25-32) make their first trip to the house that Jay-Z (and other people) built to take on the Brooklyn Nets (34-24). The Nets represent the only team in the league that the Mavericks have yet to square off against this season.

This will mark the first time the Mavericks will see Deron Williams since he decided to stay with the Nets over jumping ship and signing with the Mavericks. Don’t expect a handshake or any witty remarks from Mark Cuban. He is actually not with the team as he’s attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

The Mavericks will be looking to rebound from their devastating loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter before the Grizzlies went on a 36-4 run spanning halftime. Dallas managed just five points in the third, its fewest in a period since setting an NBA record with two in the third quarter of an 87-80 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6, 1997.

With the Mavericks seven games under .5o0, the earliest the Mavericks could be shave their beards is after a victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Mar. 14. Time is running out for the Mavericks if they want to make the playoffs and want to shave those beards this season.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Nets.

Series Notes:

The Nets snapped a five-game losing streak against the Mavericks with a 93-92 win at Dallas on Feb. 28, 2012. Dirk Nowitzki (team-high 24 points and team-high-tying 10 rebounds) and Brendan Haywood (18 points and 10 boards) both recorded double-doubles for Dallas in the loss. The Mavericks had won 12 straight at home against the Nets prior to the loss (it was the Nets’ first victory in Dallas since Mar. 2, 2000, when they defeated the Mavericks, 103-102).

The game at Dallas on Feb. 28, 2012 marked the only meeting between the Mavericks and the Nets in 2011-12. The last two showdowns between the two teams have each been decided by a single point (the Mavericks defeated the Nets, 87-86, at New Jersey on Jan. 22, 2011). The Mavericks have won 19 of the last 23 overall matchups with the Nets, despite dropping the most recent meeting in Dallas.

It’s a Small World:

Vince Carter played four-and-a-half seasons with the Nets from 2004-09. Nets point guard Deron Williams hails from The Colony, Texas. Rick Carlisle played one season with the Nets in 1989-90 before taking an assistant coaching position with the franchise.In 1994, Carlisle joined the assistant coaching staff in Portland under then Blazers head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who is currently the interim head coach of the Nets.

Nets assistant coaches Mario Ellie (2007-09) and Popeye Jones (2006-10) both served as assistants in Dallas. Mavericks assistant coach Darrell Armstrong played his final NBA season for the Nets in 2007-08. Nets swingman Jerry Stackhouse played five seasons for the Mavericks from 2004-09 and averaged 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 25.7 minutes in 246 games (40 starts). Nets forward Kris Humphries played part of the 2009-10 season with Dallas.

Brandan Wright played part of the 2010-11 season with the Nets. Mavericks guard Anthony Morrow played two seasons with the Nets from 2010-12. Morrow was traded by the Nets to Atlanta on Jul. 12, 2012, in the deal that sent Joe Johnson to the Nets. Johnson was a teammate of Shawn Marion in Phoenix for three-and-a-half seasons from 2002-05.

Elton Brand was born in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. and attended Peekskill High School. Brand was selected as New York State Mr. Basketball as a senior.

Three Keys:

1. Protect the basketball. Dallas has had a total of 41 turnovers over their last two games. Their opponents (Milwaukee and Memphis) have been able to turn those turnovers into 43 points. For about a six or seven week stretch to start 2013, Dallas was the top team in the league in protecting the ball. A major issue that haunted them to start the season has returned. Dallas needs to find a way to correct this issue and do it in a hurry.

2. Keep Reggie Evans off the glass. Evans is averaging 11.2 rebounds per game over the last 10 contests. Evans recorded 22 rebounds at IND on Feb. 11, marking the 11th time this season a player has had 22-plus rebounds in a game (Evans has done it twice). This season, Reggie Evans ranks 1st in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes (19.4) and is also 1st with a 23.9% total rebounding percentage. A strong defensive possession will end with a rebound, so the Mavericks must keep Evans off the glass and avoid giving extra possessions to the Nets.

3. If the game is close, do not let Joe Johnson get the ball. For all the guff he’s going in regards to being overpaid, Johnson delivers in the clutch. This season, in games where the Nets are tied or trailing by three points or fewer with less than a minute remaining, Johnson is 9-of-10 from the field for 20 points and a +/- of 18 in just 13 minutes (10 games). Johnson’s nine made field goals in such situations leads the league (LaMarcus Aldridge is second with six).

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.