NBA basketball is almost back! We’re one step closer to seeing the Mavericks return to action with the release of the schedule this week. Let’s take a look at their schedule month by month, and point out some important factors for the season ahead.
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER really gives a tough stretch to start the season with 10 games on the road out of the first 15. The first notable game will take place on Wednesday, November 9th. The Warriors host the Mavericks on the 2nd night of a back to back, with Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes returning to Oakland for the first time since coming to Dallas this off-season. The second notable game is the day after Thankgiving. On Friday, November 25th, the Mavericks travel to Cleveland where they face the defending champion Cavaliers.
DECEMBER is a really packed month. 17 games in 31 days means more basketball on nights than there isn’t. This isn’t a bad thing for you and me (watching the Mavericks almost every 2nd night is nothing to complain about), however it means a lot of minutes and not much rest. All we can hope is that there are some teams that are blown out which can give our guys some valuable bench time to get rest in where they can. This month features the one and only "4-games-in-5-nights" stretch.
JANUARY is where the schedule eases a little for Dallas as they get to take a breath after a hectic end to the year. The month starts with a 3 game home stand on January 3rd against the Wizards, Suns & Hawks and then is followed up by a 2 game road trip against the Timberwolves & the Suns ending on January 12th. It get’s a little dicey towards the end of January as they travel to Oklahoma City on the 26th, head to San Antonio on the 29th, and then host the Cavs a night later on January 30th.
FEBRUARY would probably be the easiest month on paper for the Mavericks. It features a 4 game home stand starting on February 7th, hosting the Blazers, Jazz, Magic and Celtics, followed by a game in Detroit and then the all-star break. This break is definitely pivotal for rest and is an important part of the run to the playoffs. Dallas gets their first look at Number 1 Draft pick, Ben Simmons on February 1 in Dallas.
MARCH can be a really critical time for a team like the Mavericks. We suspect for them to be around the middle of the pack and fighting for the 7-8 seed, so this month could really make or break their chances at a playoff spot. Fortunately the only back to back this month comes against the Nets and Suns on March 9th-10th. The last 6 games of the month will be a real grind as they match up with the Warriors, Clippers, Raptors, OKC, New Orleans & Memphis. In March we see the longest home stand: 5 games March 3 – March 11 (MEM, OKC, LAL, BKN, PHX and the start of the longest road trip: 5 games March 29 – April 5 (NOP, MEM, MIL, SAC, LAC)
APRIL is always an interesting month. Somehow the schedule makers always seem to get it right and have all of the Western Conference teams battle out for playoff position – year after year it seems to come down to the last few games to finally get playoff seeding sorted. There’s only 2 home games in the last 9, so Dallas must travel well and make sure they don’t drop any "winnable" games to teams trying to rattle playoff chances.
Opening night in Indiana on October 26th couldn’t come sooner. As the season draws closer, tell us what you think about the upcoming schedule and what you think we should expect.