In 2011, Jason Kidd won his only NBA Championship as a player for the Dallas Mavericks. On Sunday, Kidd made his first return to Dallas where the Nets were able to get a crucial win over his former team. The win marked the second of the season for the Nets over the Mavericks, making him 2-0 in his career as a coach against the team he played for on two separate occasions, first from 1994-1996 and again from 2008-2012. But what may have been more important than Kidd getting an emotional win, is where both of these teams currently sit with less than two months left in the season.
Brooklyn has been the best team in the NBA in 2014. In their last ten games they are 8-2, including a current four-game streak that they are on. They still sit 1 ½ games behind Toronto. However, if they were to catch the Raptors it would take them from their current spot in fifth place in the East, to a position that would guarantee them home court advantage at least in the first round. If they keep playing like they have been, it’s only a matter of time until they catch up.
The Mavs are another team that have been incredibly hot as of late. They had an excellent February where they went 9-3, which was the surge they needed to get themselves back into the playoff hunt. In March they have gone 6-5 thus far, but they’ve worked their way up into the eight spot in the West.
The Mavericks have the eighth highest scoring average in the league at 104.6 points per game. And while Brooklyn allows the eighth lowest points against, sitting at 98.9 per game, the irony is that they let the Mavs put up 104 on Sunday. However the Nets were still able to put up 107, despite only averaging 98.1 points per game.
Joe Johnson had 22 for the Nets, and Daron Williams and Paul Pierce both added 15. However the best addition on the night might’ve been the 20 that Marcus Thornton put in, especially since he added 7 rebounds as well.
For the Mavs, Monte Ellis put in 32, despite shooting only 11-24 from the field and 2-8 from beyond the arc. But the biggest letdown on the night might’ve been Dirk Nowitzki, who only put in 10 points on 2-12 shooting in 38 minutes of play. This is an atypical game from Nowitzki, who leads the Mavs with 21.3 points per game on the season.
It looks like things have gotten better for the Nets and that they’ll probably make the playoffs in their second season since returning to Brooklyn. And if they keep playing like they have been in 2014, they are going to be a tough draw for whoever they go against. The Nets have worked their way to 50/1 odds. This may be one of the best options around for those looking to get a huge return on their bet, especially if the Nets can keep up the same momentum they’ve had as of late.
As for the Mavs, they still have some work to do. It’s great they were able to get back to the playoff picture and find themselves just on the brim of contention, but they still need to do more. Their matchup against Oklahoma City will be incredibly telling on Tuesday night. And if things shake out right, it could be a first-round preview for the upcoming playoffs. The Mavericks sit at 125/1 odds to win the NBA Championship, and they’ll need better efforts than like what they had on Sunday when they lost to the Nets.
|Brooklyn Nets (37-31)|
|J. Gutierrez||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|M. Teague||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|40.5%||36.7%||84.8%||team rebs: 11||total to: 14|
|Dallas Mavericks (42-29)|
|D. Blair||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|W. Ellington||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|B. James||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|38.5%||32.3%||77.4%||team rebs: 8||total to: 14|
- Nets: Garnett, Lopez
- Mavericks: Ledo, Mekel
- Nets: —
- Mavericks: —
- Lead Changes: 7
- Times Tied: 4
- Arena: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
- Officials: #17 Joe Crawford, #20 Leroy Richardson, #38 Michael Smith
- Attendance: 19603
- Duration: 2:46