by Marcel Mutoni

Nets @ Raptors: The last time these two teams met in Toronto, this happened. As the Nets make the trek across the border one more time, they expect a repeat performance. At least from the hostile crowd, anyway.

“I remember the crowd booing every time he touched the ball at the beginning of the game, and I remember the dead silence in the second half when he touched the ball,” said Keyon Dooling.

Note to the ACC crowd: Let’s try and keep it down, and you might not leave the arena with tears in your eyes this time around.

Denver @ Dallas: The Nuggets are riding a three-game winning streak, and have won 8 of their last 10 ballgames. They are good. As for the Mavs, they’ve quietly righted the ship, and a victory tonight would do wonders for their confidence before they embark on a three-game road trip.

New York @ Phoenix:
Mike D’Antoni makes his anticipated return to the desert tonight, and you can be sure that he’ll get a long standing-ovation from the Phoenix crowd. And Mike knows that there’ll be a lot of emotion in the building.

“I’m not dreading it. It will be fun for me, whatever the reaction is,” D’Antoni said. “Those four years was a special time in my life. Not just the players, I mean the people in the arena, the marketing guys, community relations, game (operations), everyone was great. That atmosphere we had … you wish it could last forever. But the reality is, you can’t ever have that – so four years isn’t bad.”

Also, don’t be surprised if D’Antoni stuffs Steve Nash into his suitcase after this one, and takes him back to Gotham. Steve certainly wouldn’t mind.