It’s awkward to watch, yet you cannot turn away from it. You squirm in your chair, it seems nearly impossible to get comfortable watching it. You laugh, you cry, you moan, and you shake your head. You try to explain it, but you really can’t.
The New Jersey Nets are bad.
The Mavericks won their 13th straight game, and tied the Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest win streak in the NBA this year. The Mavericks have the chance to extend their win streak to 14 straight on Saturday night against the New York Knicks.
The Mavericks didn’t play great; they didn’t play bad enough to lose either. Every Maverick that suited up scored a point. On a night when Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood suited up, J.J. Barea sat out with an ankle injury.
Jason Kidd scored 20 points, leading the scoring for the Mavericks. Every Maverick starter (Nowitzki, Marion, Haywood, Kidd, and Butler) scored in double digits.
The Mavericks played it cautious by sitting Barea, and tried to slowly ease Dampier back into playing action. Brendan Haywood played solidly, but also played stiff and cautious.
The Mavericks looked lethargic at the start, and finally woke up when they found themselves down 18 in the first half to the lowly Nets. Devin Harris (who I got an opportunity to sit down with before the game) was a dim light to an awful performance for the Nets. Harris had 21 points in his return to the AA Center.
Dallas officially has been stamped the “hottest team in the league” and is being helped by the schedule makers this week. If ever was there a good week to slowly ease Dampier back into action, sit a hobbling Barea, and allow Haywood to contribute yet rest him, it is this week. Games against Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York all at home, and spread out spaciously.
Saturday will be no easy task if the Mavericks play the way they did tonight. New York has experienced some changes, but has the team that can compete against the Mavericks.
Meanwhile news is not good for the New Jersey Nets. Last indications are that Joe Lunardi has the Nets as his “last 4 out.” It appears that the Nets aren’t even capable of getting into the NCAA tournament.
The Mavericks beat the Nets 96-87 in a fairly uncomfortable game to sit through.