The last time the Nets played the Mavericks, it wasn’t pretty. At all. The Mavs might be missing a fair amount (Jason Terry and Erik Dampier are definitely out) of their pieces tonight, but Jason Kidd is still there. Before we talk to the game, I figured this was sort of Mavericks related and interesting. According to Wayne Winston (former stats guy for the Mavericks – see? Related) the Nets are on pace for 11 wins according to his rankings (more on that Friday). Wayne Winston is a pretty smart guy and these projections are pretty well respected, so take it for what it’s worth.
Now moving forward to tonight, the Nets are going to have to play a perfect to get a win tonight. They can’t do the little things wrong like take the foul-to-give early or going for steals that trigger fast breaks for the opponents. Onto the lineups…
Devin Harris vs. Jason Kidd
Last year Devin Harris got the best of Jason Kidd (and the Mavs), so it looked like the Nets won the trade. This year the Nets are awful and the Mavs are good (and there was that blowout game in New Jersey) and now the Mavs are thought to have won the deal. My opinion? We still don’t know who we are getting with the Mavs pick, so the deal is incomplete and since it was a longterm deal for the Nets, it is way too early to judge.
Advantage: Jason Kidd
Courtney Lee vs. Caron Butler
Courtney Lee has been playing out of this world as of late, and while I don’t think he will average 30 points a game for the rest of his career, he is starting to show what Rod Thorn saw in him that he was willing to give up Ryan Anderson for him. Combine his scoring now with the ability to play lock down defense, and you have a solid starter and a solid piece moving forward.
Advantage: Caron Butler
Trenton Hassell vs. Shawn Marion
Trenton Hassell is probably going to start again, but we probably will be seeing a ton of Terrence Williams tonight, because I don’t think Hassell will be able to hang with Marion’s athleticism (even though that has declined through the years).
Advantage: Shawn Marion
Josh Boone vs. Dirk
Josh Boone might start (he did have a solid game against the Grizzlies), but I don’t think he is going to successfully be able to hang with Dirk, which means you might see a lot of Kris Humphries. While Humphries has struggled on the offensive end as of late, he still continues to work on the offensive end. It is going to be fun to watch Dirk and Humphries go at it, and Humphries might be able to use his experience in Dallas to his advantage.
Brook Lopez vs. Brendan Haywood
When I saw Brendan Haywood got traded to the Western Conference, I was happy because this means Brook Lopez gets to face him less than when he was in the East. Brendan Haywood had the two best defensive performances against Brook (in my opinion), and he might have another tough night if his teammates don’t make shots.