There is no team hotter right now in the NBA than the Brooklyn Nets. They are 8-1 since the turn of the new year, the best record in the league in 2014.
A run which has catapulted them into the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, and a run that they would dearly love to continue tonight.
They host at the Barclays Center, a Dallas Mavericks team which has managed to stay afloat in the race for the playoffs in the Western Conference despite not possessing the talents of other teams around them.
However the Mavs have lost three of their last five games and have had to rely on veteran Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis to provide the lion share of the points so far this year.
Brooklyn meanwhile, look to have finally found their groove under rookie head coach Jason Kidd. Kevin Garnett is playing more minutes and providing good defensive help whilst Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Andray Blache are all chipping in on the offensive end.
If they are to continue their run, guard Shaun Livingston knows what they need to do:
"Defense," Livingston told the team's official website. "That's where we set our tone; it's what we've been trying to hang our hat on."
Their defense is indeed impressive, they've only allowed one team to score more than 100 points in January but they will be faced with a big test. The Mavericks are 10th in the league in points scored.
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