It’s almost that time of the year.
The NBA schedule was released today, giving the Mavericks’ faithful the first opportunity to see when Dallas’ marquee matchups take place. Dallas is scheduled to play 30 nationally televised games, including 10 on ESPN, nine on NBA TV, seven on TNT and four on ABC.
It was also first reported that Dallas would have yet another Christmas Day game, albeit this time hosting. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing matchups on the Mavericks’ schedule.
1.) Season opener rematch with Phoenix Suns.
The Mavericks will open the season with a rematch of last season’s Western Conference semifinals, facing the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix on Oct. 19. It will be a national T.V. broadcast, with ESPN on the call, and it will also be the first look Mavericks fans get at how the team fairs without Jalen Brunson during meaningful basketball.
2.) Seeing Jalen Brunson again
Dallas will face its old friend Brunson in New York on Saturday, Dec. 3. It will mark the first time Brunson is playing his former team. There is a good chance that things get dicey. Later in the month, on Dec. 27, Brunson will be making his return to Dallas for the only time this season. Again, expect an emotional game, with — maybe — a tribute video.
3.) When stars collide
After opening up against Phoenix, the Mavericks will face Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies in their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 22.
The Mavericks will also host Stephen Curry and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors twice in 2022-23 (Nov. 29 and March 22). LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers will also make two trips to the American Airlines Center (Dec. 25 and Feb. 26).
Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets (Nov. 18 and 20), Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers (Nov. 15 and Jan. 22), and Devin Booker and the Suns (Dec. 5 and March 5) are among the other teams set to visit Dallas twice this season.
Jayson Tatum and the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics will make their lone trip to Dallas on Jan. 5, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks will make their sole visit to American Airlines Center on Dec. 9.
Dallas’ longest homestand of the season will come from Feb. 24 to March 7. During that time, Dallas will play six games: San Antonio Spurs, L.A. Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.
Toughest month: December could be the Mavericks’ toughest month of basketball during the season. With two games against an old friend in Brunson, two matchups with Cleveland, a game against the Lakers, two against the new-look Timberwolves, and a game against Phoenix, Denver, and Milwaukee, Dallas will have to prove itself on a near-nightly basis.
Season record: After losing Brunson, it’s likely that Luka Doncic takes his game to another level alongside the additions of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee. Behind Doncic’s inspired play, I can see the Mavericks finishing with an overall record of 52-30.
Related Dallas Mavericks reading
Feature image via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.