Mavs Schedule: The 10 Highs And Lows

DALLAS - Rivalries. Rest. Redemption. Those are among the themes in our review of the just-released Dallas Mavericks 2015-16 Schedule ... The 10 Highs And Lows:




HIGH-LOW 1: DeAndre's Re-Welcome

The Dallas Mavericks 2015-16 schedule is listed (and discussed on DB.com Boards) here and the jump-out game, for most, is Nov. 11 at the AAC: The DFW audience will no doubt fill the building, as it always does, though this time with the intent of delivering its wrath to the flip-floppy DeAndre Jordan as he'll be here repping the Clippers.

He said the other day he might ask the people of his native Houston to be present to help support him, suggesting that he's still confused about what NBA side he's on.

HIGH-LOW 2: Three For The Road

Somebody has to start on the road. (Half the somebodies, to be exact). And it's not even unusual to start with a pair of roadies.

Smile

But three straight road games to open the season, as is the case for the Mavs (at {Phoenix in Game 1 on Oct. 28, at the Clips in Game 2 on Oct. 29, at the Lakers in Game 3 on Nov. 1? The Mavs have played consecutive road games to start a season six times in team history. But they've never played three straight to open ... until this year.

So yes, they're opening the season in Phoenix to see Tyson Chandler. Then traveling to see DeAndre Jordan. Kobe will actually seem like an emotional respite ...

Gas up that plane!

HIGH-LOW 3: The Focus Time

The Mavs' schedule is crowded with roadies early; 14 of their first 22 are away from home. But they all even out eventually, and where Dallas gets its evening-out comes across the bulk of February and March from January 28 to March 22 - a 55-day span -- the Mavs play 16 of 22 games at home and are saddled with just three of their 16 back-to-backs. Further, only 8 of the 22 games during this stretch are against 2014-15 playoff teams.

There is a place in every schedule when wrongs can be righted, gaps can be closed and goals can come into focus. This might be that place.

HIGH-LOW 4: Home-Opening

Yes, you eventually get to see Dirk Nowitzki and crew at the AAC: The Mavs’ home opener is Nov. 3 against the Raptors. But enjoy it; it'll seem like a rarity early.

HIGH-LOW 5: B-2-B-2-Bs

The back-to-back-to-backs are the bane of NBA existence. But three-game roadies are also tough. And three-games-in-four-nights seems ... well, unnecessary, frankly. But there it is, in the early going, at Oklahoma City, at Memphis, at San Antonio, three games in four nights and quite possibly a chance to examine what coach Rick Carlisle will do in terms of resting someone of Dirk's age, stature and importance.

Smile

Worth noting: the league wishes to note that back-to-backs are down from an average of 19.3 per team last year to 17.8 in 2015-16, and that the per-team average of f4-in-5's was cut from 2.3 to 0.9.

It's a start.

HIGH-LOW 6: Not to be negative, but ...

Now that I think about it, having an overloaded burden for this particular team is particularly burdensome. Why? Dirk will be coming back from German play. Parsons will only be hopeful of being ready. Wes will only be hopeful of the same. A team with this many major changes -- a previous few rotation players to start this season might have much chemistry -- would probably benefit from a lighter start and a heavier finish.

Oh, well. ... at the same time, Dallas' month with the most games is January, with 18. So see? That can be good. Right?

HIGH-LOW 7: The Nation Watches

Mavericks fans (and I suppose every teams' fanbase) wants the recognition and verification of being on national TV. Me? I'm over it. Part of the reason? I'd rather watch Followill and company (and be involved myself) than watch national guys ... though Bob Ortegel will be missed!

But, if it matters to you to know what, like, Chris Webber thinks of you: The schedule includes one game on TNT (that Game 2 at the Clippers), six on ESPN and nine on NBATV.

HIGH-LOW 8: The Reunions

Wesley Matthews might be ready to face the Blazers on Dec. 1. If not, he'll likely get a warm welcome in Portland on March 23. Tyson will get the same sort of reception when the Suns come here on Dec. 14 and Jan. 31.

It might not work out so warmly for Deron Williams at the Nets on Dec. 23, and another point guard, Rajon Rondo, will be back in Dallas playing for the Kings on Jan. 5 and March 3 and for my money, he deserves even more verbal abuse than DeAndre does.

HIGH-LOW 9: Must-See Three

Everybody used to want to see Kobe.

Everybody still wants to see LeBron.

Everybody's about to want to see Curry.

Smile

Those things happen Dallas on Nov. 13 (for Kobe's sole visit), on Jan. 12 (for LeBron's only trip here) and for MVP Stephen Curry and the champion Warriors on Dec. 30 and March 18.

HIGH-LOW 10:

We're prepared to say that the final five games of the regular season are as challenging as those season-starting five games ... except maybe they just seem excessively tough because we fear Dallas won't be good enough. In those final days, Houston and Memphis are here, then there's a road back-to-back at the Clippers and Jazz and then the closer at the AAC against the Spurs.

Unusually difficult? Nope. Rather, it's "usually'' difficult; if the Mavs are a playoff-caliber team, they win their share. If they aren't, they don't.



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