Are you ready to watch Dennis Smith Jr. in person? Do you want to see him throw down vicious dunks live? Well, the NBA released its schedule, so start marking your calendars. The Dallas Mavericks kick off their season in two months.
The Mavs begin their 38th season at home against the Atlanta Hawks on October 18 and wrap it up April 10 at home against the Phoenix Suns. This season, Dallas will play 11 back-to-back games and have 11 games televised nationally. If you’re looking to attend a game this season, here are a few that should be worth seeing in person:
Oct. 23 vs. Golden State Warriors
The reigning champs come to town twice this season. This will be your first opportunity to catch the likes of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. No one will blame you if you plan on going to the game just to see the Warriors. You’ll fit right in with all the kids under the age of 13.
Oct. 28 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
For years, the Sixers were the bottom of the barrel in the NBA. Now, though, it looks like The Process may be working. Philly has a good young core built around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. This summer, they also added veteran gunner J.J. Redick and drafted Markelle Fultz first overall. This game is worth it just to see Fultz and Smith Jr. go at it.
Nov. 11 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs might find themselves in some turmoil after it was reported that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded, but we all know the real reason you want to watch the Cavs: LeBron.
Nov. 20 vs. Boston Celtics
This is Boston’s only visit to Dallas. Last year, the Celtics finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference but fell short in the playoffs (see: James, LeBron). They added free agent Gordon Hayward and drafted Jayson Tatum to play alongside Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. They should be at or near the top of the East again.
Nov. 25 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
If Russell Westbrook didn’t cause enough problems for opponents already, the Thunder traded for Paul George over the summer. He might not quite make up for the loss of Durant, but he’s pretty much as close as you can get.
Dec. 12 vs. San Antonio Spurs
It’s the Spurs. They’re the biggest rival in the Mavs’ history. What more do you need to know?
Jan. 7 vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks probably won’t be good this year. They haven’t been good in a while, frankly. But they still have Carmelo Anthony (barring him getting traded this season) and Kristaps Porzingis. They’re worth the price of admission. Toss in rookie Frank Ntilikina, who New York selected just before the Mavs drafted Smith Jr., and you’ve got an added wrinkle.
Jan. 13 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
It’s the Lakers. It’s Lonzo Ball. It’s a sea of people in Kobe jerseys. It’s going to be fun.
Jan. 24 vs. Houston Rockets
This will be Houston’s first visit to Dallas this season. Not only do they have James Harden, the Rockets also added Chris Paul over the summer. It’s really kind of annoying how good the other teams in Texas are, isn’t it?
Mar. 6 vs. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets still have Dallas-raised Emmanuel Mudiay, who should elicit cheers from the crowd. However, you need to see Nikola Jokic play in person. He’s one of the best big men in the league.
Mar. 30 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves are actually in a position to make the playoffs for the first time in years. This summer they added Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. They also still have Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Minnesota is a team quickly rising the ranks in the Western Conference.