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News » Mavericks-Nets Preview 2009-12-01

Mavericks-Nets Preview 2009-12-01

Mavericks-Nets Preview 2009-12-01With Tom Barrise finishing off his two-game interim coaching stint before New Jersey Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe takes over for the rest of the season, the Nets look to avoid the NBA's worst-ever start Wednesday when they host the Southwest Division-leading Dallas Mavericks.

After New Jersey fired coach Lawrence Frank earlier in the day, the Nets ended their four-game trip Sunday with a 106-87 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. New Jersey's 0-17 mark to open the season matches the 1988-89 Miami Heat and the 1999 Los Angeles Clippers for the worst start in league history.

"I don't want to be associated with (the record)," Nets point guard Devin Harris said. "That's one record you don't ever want to be a part of."

Vandeweghe won't be on the bench as New Jersey tries to avoid that dubious mark, but the team announced Tuesday the general manager will also take over coaching duties beginning Thursday.

"Because of his ability to work with young players, to get the best out of young players, he's a natural for this job," Nets president Rod Thorn said of Vandeweghe, who has no prior heading coaching experience.

Del Harris, who was an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls last season, has been added in the same capacity.

"It doesn't matter who the coach is. If we don't change some of the habits, not much is going to change throughout the team," Harris said of the Nets, who are scoring 85.7 points per game and shooting 40.4 percent - both league worsts.

While New Jersey is looking for one victory to get on track, Dallas (13-5) is trying to continue its push up the Western Conference standings.

Jason Terry hit a jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining and the Mavericks avoided back-to-back losses for the first time this season with Monday's 104-102 victory over Philadelphia.

"He hit a great shot," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, whose team is off to its best start since also opening 13-5 in 2006-07. "It's a great win even though we had a (17-point) lead and they got it back even. I liked the way we fought them off at the end and were able to finish the game."

Dirk Nowitzki, averaging a career-best 27.2 points, scored 24 in the Mavericks' last visit to the Izod Center - a 121-97 loss Dec. 19.

Jason Kidd had 17 points and seven assists in that contest - his first in New Jersey since being traded to Dallas in an eight-player deal during the 2007-08 season.

Kidd scored a season-high 22 points with 11 assists Monday.

Harris, acquired by the Nets in the Kidd trade, had 41 points and 13 assists in Dallas' last visit to New Jersey. Harris is averaging 15.6 points and 5.0 assists in five games since missing 10 games with an injured right groin.

New Jersey has won two straight at home against Dallas but has lost 15 of 18 overall in this matchup.

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Added: December 2, 2009


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