Mavericks schedule release: Important dates, crucial contests, takeaways

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Mavericks schedule release: Crucial contests

Playoff rematch- Dec. 27 at LA Clippers- 2:30 p.m. CT on NBA TV

The Mavs open in Phoenix before traveling to Los Angeles to face both the Lakers and Clippers to begin the season. If Dallas can manage one win from that slate, they are doing well. Expect Luka Doncic to have a little extra for the team that knocked him out of the playoffs.

Division opener- Jan. 4 at Houston Rockets- 7:00 p.m. CT

The Mavericks do not play a division game until Jan. 4. The deck is stacked against Dallas here because it is their first second night of a back-to-back this season. Assuming James Harden remains in Houston, the Rockets will be the Mavs toughest test in the division. It will crucial that the Mavericks win the series this season.

Jan. 7 at Denver Nuggets- 9:00 p.m. CT on TNT

This game is key because it is in Denver, which is historically one of the toughest places to play. The Mavericks also kick off the season with six of eight on the road. Dallas could be looking at just two wins after their brutal slate. They need to knock off the Nuggets, especially if they are already falling behind in the Western Conference.

Jan. 11 vs. New Orleans Pelicans- 7:30 p.m. CT on NBA TV

Many are anointing the Pelicans as the Mavs’ biggest threat in the division for years to come. It will be Luka vs. Zion for the first time in the 2020-2021 season. Expect both players to go off in the showdown.

Jan. 22 at San Antonio Spurs- 7:30 p.m. CT

The Mavericks do not face the rival Spurs until Jan. 22. Popovich’s team missed the playoffs for the first time since 1997 in 2020. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back this season. This game also marks the 11th road game for Dallas in its first 16.

Next: Takeaways