Familiar faces await the Dallas Mavericks in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center tonight as they take on the resurgent Brooklyn Nets. There is first-year head coach and former Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd as wells as the heart and soul of the 2011 NBA champion Mavericks Jason Terry. And while there is definitely mutual love between the former stars and the current Mavericks organization, this heavily anticipated matchup comes at a time when the Mavericks are just plain mad. The players on the Mavericks are mad, of course, because they continue to collapse on the defensive end in the second-half of games in which they’ve had monster leads.
As for Brooklyn, the team has found itself in January once again after an abysmal start to the season. The Nets currently are working on a three-game winning streak, and they’ve won eight of their last 10 basketball games overall. A laughingstock earlier in the season, Brooklyn has gone on to finally live up to its lofty expectations.
The Nets have a nice, fresh thing going on in Brooklyn, but Dallas can’t sit back and be mesmerized by that luster. Rick Carlisle can’t lie on his hotel bed in New York ruminating about how surreal it is going to be to coach against his former starting point guard. There’s no time for Carlisle to boast about how he taught Kidd everything knows. Vince Carter doesn’t have time to get nostalgic about his time on the Nets and harp over what could have been. There can be no hugs from Dirk Nowitzki for Jason Terry. No, not tonight.
This is not the time for Dallas to be sentimental. Not when the Mavericks have every reason to be hopping mad. Kidd doesn’t play for the Mavericks anymore, and neither does Jason Terry. Tonight, those two men and the team that employs them are plain and simply the enemy. Brooklyn is just another God forsaken team that is standing in the way of the towering goals the Mavericks set for themselves before the season began.
It is games like this one that many times brings out the best in a team. Why? Because it brings out the inner beast. That said, the Mavericks need to stop being Mr. Nice Guy. No better time to stop than tonight in Brooklyn. It very well could turn out to be the turning point of the Mavericks’ season.
Miotch is a Mavericks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Miotch_Report, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your Google Network.