Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Prokhorov in NJ week comes to an end as the Nets (12-31) look to win their third in a row and top their win total from a year ago when Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks (27-15). The Mavs have only won 3 of their last 10, and their offensive efficiency (105.1 per 100 possessions) isn’t as stout as it’s been in the past. With that said, they’re still a quality Western Conference team, so here are a few things to look for tonight:

More from Morrow: As Devin said in his recap, Anthony Morrow had an immediate impact in his return from injury last night. Simply put, unless teams are single covering Brook Lopez, the Nets don’t have anyone else on offense that can take over a game as quickly as Morrow can. His 10 points in less than two minutes against the Pistons essentially iced the game last night. It’ll be interesting to see how Avery Johnson uses Morrow on the second end of a back-to-back, but if he gets another 15-20 minutes, the Nets need to run some set plays for him.

Take the D to Dirk and Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki has been one of the league’s mos explosive scorers for years now and the key to beating Dallas has always been to neutralize him. However, since coming back from a knee injury, Dirk hasn’t been himself, averaging 18 points on 42 percent shooting the past four games. With reports that the Mavs had a hard time getting into NJ last night, the Nets need to bring the D hard tonight and get Dirk off his game early. Except this time, the Nets may be actually able to do it.

Battle of the Billionaires: Remember when Mark Cuban referred to Mikhail Prokhorov as a part of the female anatomy? Well, the Nets are now 5-1 when the new Boss is in the building. You think Proky is going to ask Cuban up to his suite before the game to exchange pleasantries?