Setting the Table: Brooklyn Nets (Game 68)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 20, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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It’s a homecoming of sorts as the Dallas Mavericks (32-35) host the Brooklyn Nets (39-28) in their lone appearance to the American Airlines Center. According to Nets guard Deron Williams, “It’s just another game.” It’s easy for him to say that, but it likely means a lot to fans as it is the first time Williams will play in Dallas since Williams chose to stay with the Nets in free agency over coming to Dallas.

The Mavericks are streaking as they’ve won six of their last eight games. They have a chance to move to two games below .500 for the first time since they were 12-14 on Dec. 20. They have a serious chance to make up some ground with a six-game homestand, starting against the Nets. The homestand marks the longest one the Mavericks have this season.

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

Series Notes:

The Mavericks have won six of the last seven (and 20 of the last 24) meetings with the Nets. The road team has taken the last three meetings in the series (the last three meetings have been decided by a total of 10 points).

In their first-ever trip to Brooklyn on Mar. 1, the Mavericks defeated the Nets 98-90.

The two teams met just once in 2011-12 (at Dallas on Feb. 28, 2012) and the Nets recorded a 93-92 win. With that win at Dallas, the Nets snapped a five-game losing streak against the Mavericks. 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).

In the Mavericks’ last-ever trip to New Jersey on Jan. 22, 2011 Nowitzki rolled home a seven-foot jumper with 6.0 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner (Dallas won 87-86).

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.

Mavericks head coach 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 Elie (2007-09) and Popeye Jones (2006-10) both served as assistants in Dallas. Jones played two stints with the Mavericks: four seasons with Dallas from 1993-96 and another in 2002-03. Jones averaged 8.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 26.3 minutes in 255 games (195 starts) with the Mavericks. 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. Anthony Morrow played two seasons with the Nets from 2010-12. Morrow was traded by the Nets to Atlanta, in the deal that sent Joe Johnson to the Nets. Johnson was a teammate of Mavericks forward 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. Mike James grew up in Amityville, New York.

Three Keys:

1. Lock in on Deron. Williams is the head of the snake for the Nets and he’s clearly been on a roll. In his recent game against the Pistons, Williams had 31 points and five assists in 28 minutes. Williams, averaging 18.2 points and 42.9 percent shooting on the season, is at 26.0 points on 50.5 percent over his last six games. He’s also knocking down 44.0 percent of his 3-pointers (22-of-50) over the same stretch.

2. Keep it going. In going 7-3 in their last 10 games, Dallas has averaged 104.5 points, 49.8 shooting from the field and 43.2 from 3. They need to force the issue against Brooklyn as they have only allowed 89.5 points and 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 27.6 percent from 3 over their last seven games (5-2 record). Something has to give in this game.

3. Provide the strength in numbers. The Mavericks are averaging a league-high 41.7 bench points per game this season (Denver and New York are tied for second with 40.7 bench points per game). The Mavericks have scored at least 60 points off the pine three times this year (3-0 record). Dallas’ bench has produced at least 55 points four times in its last six contests (Dallas has won all four of those games). Over the last six games, Dallas’ bench is averaging 52.2 points per game. Brooklyn’s bench averages 29.7 points per game, ranking 22nd in the league.

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.