Nets at Mavs GameDay Preview: 'We're Not Going To Be An 'Excuse Team'

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - Tonight's foes, the Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, are experiencing the travel down similar paths, one in East, one in the West.

Both are trying to establish themselves as consistent over-.500 teams; the Nets were 42-20 last year and are 16-16 going into tonight's 7:30 tip at the AAC; Dallas is 21-12 now after a too-long sub-.500 run. Both are working to be taken seriously as contenders in their respective conferences, the Nets sitting in the No. 7 slot, Dallas at No. 5.

Both are dealing with uncertainty or more in regard to injuries. Dallas will be missing Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee) is questionable. 

UPDATE: Porzingis is now OUT for tonight's game ...

Coach Rick Carlisle's own UPDATE:

For the Nets, Kyrie Irving (shoulder) hasn't played since Nov. 14. And of course they signed superstar Kevin Durant (Achilles) knowing he won't be returning 2020-21.

Both teams are also in mini-slumps, as Dallas has dropped two straight and the Nets have lost three in a row.

Oh, and one more thing: On Tuesday, when the Mavericks lost 106-101 in Oklahoma City, they did so while losing a seven-point lead with just 2:42 remaining.

Said Dallas coach Carlisle:“We just got to execute a little bit better at both ends. It’s a one -possession game up to the very last part of the game. One more make and one more miss one way or the other and the thing is different, but that’s the NBA now. It’s a very thin margin for errors and you’ve got to be really good at both ends.”

UPDATE: Rookie Josh Reaves is being added to the fold tonight ...

And while the Mavs were botching that chance, the Nets were coming off a game in which they were doing the same, The Nets blew a five-point lead in the final 2:06 Monday at Minnesota before losing in overtime, 122-115 loss.

"It was just an unacceptable performance by us," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "We're not playing up to Nets standards.''

"Nets standards'' are suddenly a thing? They are when guard Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 31 points per game in his last six, part of first-team group that includes center Jarrett Allen (with old pal DeAndre Jordan), forwards Joe Harris and Taurean Prince and guard Garrett Temple.

And "Mavs standards''? Led by the attitude of Dallas' best player, Luka Doncic, we love Rick's latest decree.

"We’re not going to be an 'excuse team,'' he said. "We’re just not going to go there. 

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