Tuesday , Mar , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Is New Jersey peaking too early?

(Sports Network) – New Jersey just snapped an 11-game losing streak to the
highly-talented Dallas Mavericks and the win couldn’t have come at a more
opportune time.

The Nets, winners of five straight, are seeded third in the Eastern Conference
standings and have a 6 1/2-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the
Atlantic Division.

New Jersey is on its longest winning streak since ripping off 10 straight wins
earlier this season from December 16 – January 8.

But could the recent success spell disaster for the Nets?

After beating Dallas for the first time since March 2, 2000, the Nets proved
they are ready for the big boys and earned all the confidence needed to make
a decent run in the playoffs.

Nenad Krstic had 18 points and 13 rebounds versus Dallas for the Nets, who led
by as many as 25 points. The young forward/center is averaging 17.6 points
and 7.2 rebounds over his last five games.

New Jersey, which is a season-high nine games over .500, will most likely
finish third in the conference and Tuesday’s meeting with Washington could be
a possible playoff preview.

The Wizards and Nets have split the first two meetings of the season. New
Jersey posted an 89-83 win on November 19 at Continental Airlines Arena and
the Wizards notched a 94-74 triumph at home on December 13.

Washington has won four of the last six meetings overall and three in a row
versus the Nets in DC.

NJN