From the desk of: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
BROOKLYN NETS: Start Road Trip On A High With OT Win Over Dallas; Must Avoid Trap Game Against Pelicans Tonight.
Are there trap games in the NBA like in the NFL? We'll find out tonight. After disposing of a very good Dallas Mavericks team last night in overtime, the Nets visit the 29-40 New Orleans Pelicans.
With their 107-104 overtime victory over the Mavs, the Nets improved to 10-2 this month, and are now 27-10 in the new year. They are still 1.5 games behind the Raptors in the Atlantic Division race. Toronto is idle tonight, then play in Cleveland on Tuesday.
In the Eastern Conference standings, Brooklyn enters tonight's action as the 5th seed, 2 games over Washington. The Nets trail the 5th seeded Chicago Bulls by 1 game. Chicago plays the Indiana Pacers this evening.
The month of March has seven days left, and there is still no sign of Kevin Garnett. Complicating the issue, Andrei Kirilenko was lost yet again last night, this time spraining his left ankle. But, there is no need to fear, Mason Plumlee is here. All kidding aside, Plumlee has been thriving under the direction of his veteran team mates.
However, last night belonged to Joe Johnson and Marquis Thornton. Mr. Big Shot, Joe Johnson led the Nets with 22 points, and effectively sent the game into overtime with a drive into the lane.
Marquis Thornton scored 20 points off the bench.
Playing small is working. Somehow, the team is still getting out-rebounded, but it doesn't seem to be hindering them too much. Dallas won the battle of the boards by a 52-47 margin. The Mavs also had more assists, 21-17, than the Nets. Dirk Nowitzki perhaps having an off night (10 points) made a big difference, because the Nets only squeaked by with a marginal edge in FG%, 3-point shots, and free throws.