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The trip to China could negatively affect the Mavericks’ performance now and beyond

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Jet lag is no joke.

NBA: Preseason-Beijing Ducks at Dallas Mavericks Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are having a slightly different preseason this year. Dallas will spend about a week in China and play two games against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 5th and 8th.

Their flight to Shanghai came on the wings of a plane whose interior looked like a luxury yacht from what Instagram stories showed us.

That plane is nicer than any hotel room most of us will ever stay in. The flight takes just over 15 hours so the team landed in Shanghai early in the morning for local Dallas time which was around 6 p.m. in China.

No matter how lush the plane is, a 13 hour time difference takes a toll on those who have to experience it. Last year the Warriors were one of the teams who took the preseason trip to China and they said it affected the season. Matt Moore of the Action Network tweeted about the effect the preseason trip to China has had on teams the last few years.

Betting language is confusing, so I asked him what it meant in English. He said since 2013, teams that went to China under-performed their market expectations for wins roughly 67 percent of the time. Going back to 2007, that number is 56 percent of the time.

Now that makes a little more sense. The Mavericks over-under for wins this year is set at 37.5. This will likely have the biggest impact on the early season games. Dallas opens against the Suns then plays five of their seven remaining October games against contending squads.

Preseason trips to other countries aren’t all bad. Sometimes they can produce very positive results. Before the Celtics won their title in 2008, the team had a preseason trip to Europe. It provided a way for new teammates Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to build chemistry with the team before the season.

Rick Carlisle believes this trip will be helpful in allowing the team to build some chemistry before the season.

“It’s a chance for us to be together on the road and bond a little bit,” Carlisle said during training camp.

Carlisle also noted that the jet lag is a factor but he believes there will be enough time for the team to recover when they get back.

“There will be challenges getting back and getting adjusted to the time, but I think we have eight days until our first game when we get back so it’s all good,” Carlisle said.

These comments came before the news that Harrison Barnes would be sidelined with a hamstring injury and would not make the trip to China. Carlisle’s comments were also well before we found out DeAndre Jordan also would not make the trip to China.

Team bonding becomes a bit more challenging when two of the main faces of the team aren’t there to bond on this big trip.

Dallas has a challenging road ahead of them when they come back to the states. If they can’t beat jet lag quickly, this October could end up looking a lot like last October. Let’s hope their REM cycles are ready.