Preview: Nets head to Dallas aiming to end recent woes against Mavericks

Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Dennis Smith Jr. promises to be an exciting battle between two of the NBA’s emerging young point guards.

The Nets (7-13) hope to finish their Texas two-step on a positive note when they travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks (5-16).

Brooklyn hasn’t beaten Dallas in over two years, but will be boosted by the likely return of DeMarre Carroll, who wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report released on Tuesday.

This game presents a unique opportunity for the Nets to finish with two wins out of their three-game road trip and also get their fourth away victory of the season. Last season, the team didn’t get its fourth road win until March.

Here's the Key Things to Look Out for in Tonight's Clash

Top Question: Can Brooklyn Take Advantage of Dallas’ Scoring Woes?

The Mavericks have struggled to find scoring consistency and currently are one of the worst four teams in the NBA offensively, averaging 99.2 points a game. Still, Rick Carlisle is one of the best defensive coaches in the NBA and despite the Mavericks’ struggles this season, his team sits just outside of the top 10 in points allowed – ranking 11th at 104.5 ppg. Dallas has actually picked up two of its five wins on the season in its last three games and that can be credited to the team’s defense stepping up (96.7 ppg allowed in that span, good for third in the league).

In order to get a win, Brooklyn will need to stick to its approach of keeping the game pace up. The team currently sits third in the league in pace of play (105.49) and is fourth in scoring (110.2 ppg). If the game becomes a grind it out, low-scoring affair, the Nets should look to their win in Memphis as a blueprint to get a result.

Key Matchup: Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Dennis Smith

It’s a battle between two of the most exciting young point guards in the NBA.

Smith is one of the early top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award and is currently second on the Mavericks in scoring (14.8 points) and assists (4.4 per game). The former NC State star has incredible athleticism, which has led to NBA fans clamoring for an appearance in the 2018 dunk contest.

Dinwiddie is one of the NBA’s top 20 players in Real Plus-Minus stats and is second only to Chris Paul in the league’s assist-to-turnover ratio, according to ESPN.

Abschied [Farewell] Dirk?

This might be the first of two final games against NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki as he’s clearly reaching the end of future first-ballot Hall of Fame career. While the German hasn’t publicly addressed his future this season, there was some speculation he was considering retirement last season.

Nowitzki has had some memorable games against the Nets and has averaged 21.5 points, 7.9 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc in 36 games against the team.

Injuries: Allen Crabbe (sore lower back) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (sprained right ankle) are doubtful. D’Angelo Russell (left knee surgery).

Potential Starting Five: Dinwiddie, Harris, Carroll, Booker, Zeller

Brooklyn Nets Stat Leaders

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2018-19 Season

  • away game
    FridayFri Jul 06 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 80-86

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dawson
    19PTS
    Shawn Dawson
    S. Christon
    4ASTS
    Semaj Christon
    J. Webb III
    8RBS
    James Webb III
    NBA TV
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Jul 07 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 76-90

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Pinson
    16PTS
    Theo Pinson
    J. McLaughlin
    6ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    T. Thompson
    7RBS
    Trevor Thompson
    NBA TV
  • away game
    MondayMon Jul 09 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 69-78

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    Y. Watanabe
    14PTS
    Yuta Watanabe
    J. McLaughlin
    5ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    J. Allen
    12RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    ESPNU
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Jul 11 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 102-109

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    M. Doyle
    21PTS
    Milton Doyle
    M. Doyle
    6ASTS
    Milton Doyle
    J. Allen
    11RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    ESPN 2
  • away game
    FridayFri Jul 13 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 79-116

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Davis
    19PTS
    Tyler Davis
    J. McLaughlin
    5ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    T. Thompson
    9RBS
    Trevor Thompson
    ESPNU