Dallas Mavericks: Five can’t miss games this season
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks will have a tough schedule this year thanks in large part to the fact that they are in the Western Conference. What will be the most important or most exciting games of the year for the Mavs?
There are plenty of games to be excited for this upcoming Dallas Mavericks season. With a reasonably realistic shot at the playoffs, the Mavs are going to need every game to count on their way to the end of the season. Some games are still going to be more exciting than others though.
There are also a number of story lines to follow across the NBA. How will LeBron do in LA, what can the Rockets hope for with the addition of Carmelo and how will Boogie Cousins fair in Golden State are just a few of the headlines worth paying attention to.
Then there is a whole separate set of headlines surrounding this year’s rookie class. Really, almost every Mavericks game should be exciting this year after two years of lowered expectations and less exciting matches against the rest of the league. The Mavs we’ve known since Dirk Nowitzki arrived could be back for another year in 2018-19.
Let’s take a look at just a few of these games that you definitely won’t want to miss.
October 17th- Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns
The first game of the season is being nationally televised for a reason. Even though many of the other rookies in the 2018 NBA Draft class don’t quite see it, the consensus leading up to the draft for most people was that Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic were the two best players in the draft.
This will be the first game of the year and it will give the NBA a chance to see two of the young, future stars to go head to head. This one should be better than last season’s rookie head-to-head to start the season, when Dennis Smith Jr. and John Collins went at it on opening night. This should be a very entertaining game.
October 24th- Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks
Speaking of the Hawks, the Dallas Mavericks will be meeting with the Atlanta team just a week after the opening game. This one will be exciting because it will feature the team that traded Luka away in exchange for the young sharpshooter and playmaker, Trae Young. This will be the first opportunity for one team or the other to say “I told you so.”
I could have chosen the first time the Mavs play the Orlando Magic as well (December 10th), seeing as they drafted Mo Bamba, the guy Dallas would have likely chosen had they not traded for Luka Doncic. I feel like the match between the two players involved in the trade will be more exciting though.
November 30th- Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers
Everyone is looking forward to seeing the Mavs take on the new look Los Angeles Lakers. Of course people want to see what it is like for LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson to co-exist on the court, but you are probably wondering why I chose the 2nd matchup in the series instead of the first one or the one in Dallas.
Well the reason is that, based on last year’s scoring averages, this would be the game that Dirk would pass Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. Sadly, if this were the case, LeBron would have likely already passed both Wilt and Dirk and the Big German would still be sitting at 6th overall. There is always a chance that Dirk could get there first though.
December 2nd- Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The first matchup between DeAndre Jordan and his former team should be a fun one. As we all remember, Jordan elected to stay with the Clippers a few years ago, despite having verbally committed to the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers went on to break down fully as an organization and Jordan is really the only remaining hold out from that team.
I expect a Mavs victory in this one, which will be a sweet sight after all that went down between the two teams. DeAndre will finally gain closure on the fact that he made the wrong call on that fateful summer night.
April 9th- Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns
Last, but not least, we have the final matchup between the two rookie sensations. Only this time, that will not be the headline. This could very well be Dirk Nowitzki’s final home game at the American Airlines Center and for his career. The actual final game will be played on the road in San Antonio, but I believe this one will be much more exciting and heartfelt for Mavs fans and NBA fans alike.
This season will be one to remember for the Dallas Mavericks and holds a lot of different story lines to follow. Between the belief that Dirk is in his final season, the excitement for Luka Doncic to start his NBA career and the eagerness to see DeAndre Jordan in Dallas, there will be plenty to follow. It should be a great season.