Here are some numbers to help you wade your way through the Mavericks' schedule. You can see the entire thing right here and read our 10 must-see games of the year here. Spoiler alert: prepare to be depressed early and often, maybe.
Well well, schedulers. You hate the Mavs, huh? Last season, it was facing Houston all four times on the second night of a back-to-back.This year, Dallas opens its season with a road back-to-back, against the Tyson Chandler-led Suns and then in Los Angeles to face he-who-shall-not-be-named and the Clippers. And THEN they play the Clippers in Dallas on the second night of a back-to-back not long thereafter. In fact, three of the four Mavs-Clips matchups are the second night of a back-to-back. Seems unfair imo.
My very unscientific and late-night look at back-to-backs also seems to have more of them in the first half of the season, for whatever that's worth. For the league as a whole, the Mavericks are middle of the pack, falling short of the league-leading 20 but also several games higher than the Timberwolves' and Suns' mere 14 back-to-backs.
Four games in five nights: 1
It's Nov. 10 to 14 (Pelicans, Clippers, Lakers, Rockets). I think I got my schedule math right on this one -- and the NBA is lessening these in response to more and more teams having to intentionally rest players during the season. After 70 instances of four-in-five there's just 27 this year, by far the lowest ever.
See also: Month, toughest.
National TV games (including NBA TV): 16
Somewhat surprisingly, the Mavs do not play on opening night or Christmas Day. I really thought they'd get one or the other this season, considering all the great rivalries they have around the league, but I guess a big media market like Dallas will never compete with the allure of the Lakers (I can't type that sentence without laughing just a bit -- especially considering Mavs-Lakers is one of the nationally televised games).
National TV games (not including NBA TV): 7
Longest homestand: 6 games (Feb. 21-Mar. 6)
In which Dallas will face: Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Denver, Minnesota, Orlando and Sacramento.
Longest roadtrip: 4 games (Mar. 23-28)
In which the Mavs will travel to: Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and Denver.
Toughest month: November
I don't think there's much room for debate here. Clippers, New Orleans twice, Toronto, Houston, Memphis, OKC, San Antonio. Denver is also mixed in there, which for some reason the Mavs always have trouble with them. ALSO also, the two October games are against the Clippers and the Suns. The only four games in five nights stretch is in here. Dallas will certainly be tested early and often, and probably without Wes Matthews, and maybe without Chandler Parsons. Unfortunately, I don't foresee much luck for the good guys early in the season.
Get good fast, Justin Anderson?
Easiest month: February?
Something of a cop-out because there are fewer games in February than other months, but a good stretch of Miami, Philly, Orlando, Utah (yes, I know they're a little better this year) and Denver (even though they give the Mavs fits usually) seems winnable-ish.
See y'all in Los Angeles on October 29 -- I'll be there, live and praying for a win because UGH that November slate.