Wednesday, 10/23 – Wizards @ Mavericks
What to watch for:
– The flow of things will be interesting to watch in the season opener when it comes to the rotation. The Mavs have a deep roster this season so divvying out minutes will be a daunting task for Rick Carlisle, especially with the guards with an abundance of talent like Wright, Brunson, Curry, Hardaway Jr., and Barea.
– Again, it’s the first game of the season. We’ve already seen Kristaps shaking off the rust during the preseason so that may take some time to get his groove back. And certainly conditioning. You can expect guys to get long-winded in their first regular action of the season.
– The Wizards team is led by Bradley Beal and Bradley Beal only. John Wall is on the shelf and Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre are no more in Washington. Honestly, it will be interesting to see what other four starters roll out there with Beal because that roster is…something. But the question remains; do you let Beal get off or force the others to beat you? Either way, this should be a tally in the W column for the Mavericks on opening night.
Matchup of the night: Luka Doncic vs Bradley Beal
Now, they likely won’t be defending each other, at least you can expect for Delon Wright to guard Beal, but these two are the two stars on the wing for this matchup. Both Beal and Doncic can score at will from all three levels. A potential back and forth scoring battle between these two would be something fun to watch to kick off the season.
Friday, 10/25 – Mavericks @ Pelicans
What to watch for:
– The Pelicans have a very good defensive team, specifically their backcourt with Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball. The Mavericks will have to move the ball and attack the seams and kick out to the open shooter to get past the Pelicans.
– Both the Mavs and Pelicans come into the season with quality benches. With the likes of J.J. Redick, who will most likely start with Zion out, Josh Hart, E’Twaun Moore, Kenrich Williams, Jahlil Okafor, etc. the Mavericks bench, led by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Seth Curry will need to come with their A game in New Orleans.
– With Zion Williamson out of the lineup, expect Brandon Ingram to slide up from the 3 to the 4, which means he may have the duty of guarding Kristaps Porzingis. Just off stature and strength alone, KP should feast on the post and inside if Ingram is his matchup.
Matchup of the night: Delon Wright vs Jrue Holiday
Now that Anthony Davis is now in Los Angeles, Jrue Holiday is clearly the leader and best player on this team. Jrue is truly an all-around talent. He can get his own shot, create for others, and most importantly, defend his ass off. Though he may be guarding Luka on the defensive end, you can expect Delon Wright’s number to be called to defend Holiday and attempt to slow down the head of the Pelicans.
Sunday, 10/27 – Trail Blazers @ Mavericks
What to watch for:
– The Dame-CJ duo is arguably the best backcourt tandem in the NBA, as they proved during their outstanding playoff run last season.
– The Mavericks don’t have a dominate rebounder on the roster as they partially did last season as DeAndre Jordan had a quick cup of coffee in Dallas. Though Jusuf Nurkic is out of the lineup, Portland acquired Hassan Whiteside to fill in for the time being, who has averaged 11.4 rebounds over his career. Dallas will need to rebound well as a unit to get past the front line of Whiteside and Zach Collins.
– Luka had two of his memorable games against Portland last season. One in comeback victory at home and the other was potentially his most memorable moment during his rookie campaign as he hit the fadeaway buzzer beater to send the game into overtime in Portland. Will his heroic efforts against the Trail Blazers continue this season? We shall see.
Matchup of the night: Dallas guards vs Portland guards
To handle Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, your guards have to attempt to match their scoring output. With Luka Doncic at the helm, his running mates in Delon Wright, Jalen Brunson, Seth Curry, and company will need to fill in the holes offensively and make it difficult for the Trail Blazers duo to come out on top.
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