The Mavericks on Friday night will get their first look at Deron Williams since the point guard elected to stay with the Nets in free agency last summer rather than bolt to the Mavericks. While Williams has been good this season, and the Nets are 34-24, his averages of 17.3 points and 7.7 assists are the lowest since his second season in the league. The Mavericks don’t harbor any resentment toward Williams. At least, the players don’t. Owner Mark Cuban has been known to hold a grudge for a while. But Dirk Nowitzki understands the business. “He’s still a friend of mind,” Nowitzki said of Williams. “Obviously, he didn’t come join us, but I wished him luck then.” The Mavericks will face a Brooklyn team that also includes former Mavericks Kris Humphries and Jerry Stackhouse. The Nets have become more reliant on center Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson this season. Lopez leads them at 18.8 points per game, and Johnson averages 17 points and has made a slew of big shots late in games. “They have a good team, especially with Joe Johnson,” Nowitzki said. “They’re deep. We got to be ready. For us it starts with defense, rebounding and running. “We never played in the Brooklyn gym before, so hopefully we can go in there and have a good game and squeeze one out.” The Nets moved into the Barclays Center this season from New Jersey.
No hard feelings toward Nets’ Williams: ‘He’s still a friend of mine; I wished him luck,’ says Dirk
Dallas Morning News | Mar 1