Four Pointer: Previewing the Brooklyn Nets

The Nets arrive at the American Airlines Center red hot in their past 15 games or so.

What has Brooklyn done lately?

The Nets are playing fantastic basketball, winning 10 of their last 12 games. That's a LOT of wins. Granted, the only "signature" win in that stretch is when they edged Miami -- the others come against lottery teams or lower-seeded Eastern Conference playoff opponents. But the team is clearly doing something right with this team.

What stat, player or fact might surprise you about the Nets?

Somehow, Andray Blatche has turned into a crucial part of this team. He mostly comes off the bench in the 61 games (only six starts), but he's averaging almost 12 points a game on 47 percent shooting, while chipping in 5.5 rebounds per game, too.

What's the biggest matchup to watch?

Deron Williams against Devin Harris. I think these former teammates will see some time guarding each other, because having Jose Calderon or Monta Ellis try to stop the Dallas-born guard probably isn't wise. Harris doesn't need to outplay Williams, but a positive impact running the offense would do wonders to help offset the stellar play Deron has bringing as of late.

What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against the Nets?

The last time these two teams played, Mirza Teletovic exploded for 34 points and was the main reason the Nets were able to win. That probably won't happen, but with Brookyln playing much better in general, that doesn't mean the Mavericks can coast.

Dallas needs to guard the 3-point line and make sure no one player beats them. The Nets have a plethora of players who can "throw back" to their days as superstars every night, and if a KG, Pierce, Deron or Joe Johnson decides to go for 30 points, it will be tough to slow down the rest of the team enough to win. Pay attention to the older veterans, use a liberal dosage of Shawn Marion on defense, and hope that's enough.

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