Given that he’ll go down as possibly the greatest seven-foot outside shooter of all time once his career is said and done, the Brooklyn Nets shouldn’t give themselves gray hairs worrying about how they’ll stop Dirk Nowitzki when they host the Dallas Mavericks tonight.
Someone they can never be too prepared for, however, is first-year Mav Monta Ellis.
Despite early concerns regarding the production levels of Ellis and Nowitzki given that they both love to have the ball in their hands, the two have managed to share quite nicely and are averaging 20 and 21.1 points per game this season, respectively.
So either way, the Nets will have to pick their poison. Nowitzki can make it rain from the outside like no other at his height, and there isn’t much Brooklyn can do defensively to put a stop to the future Hall of Famer. The best they can hope for in terms of his jumper is that he simply has an off night. If he tries to work the post, they have the height to match up with him.
Slowing down Ellis, however, will be the difference in this matchup. If you haven’t realized by now that this is one of the quicker shooting guards in the league, my prescription for you is to watch even more basketball than you already are. Ellis can score from any part of the floor, not just outside the paint.
Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd would be better off letting Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce switch responsibilities on Ellis during the course of the contest as they are two of Kidd’s better perimeter defenders and Ellis is a two-man job with his high energy.
The Nets can live with Nowitzki having a bigger night than he usually does, but they can’t win if they allow Ellis to have one as well.