Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson on building a winning team around Luka Doncic
The Dallas Mavericks’ 2019-2020 schedule features a rough early stretch when they’ll face some of the top contenders in the league.
Ten of their first 18 games are against playoff teams from last season.
That’s not including the Los Angeles Lakers, who acquired Anthony Davis to go along with LeBron James.
TOP 10 DALLAS MAVERICKS HOME GAMES FOR 2019-2020
1. L.A. Lakers, 8:30 p.m., Nov. 1
The revamped Lakers come to Dallas for the Mavs’ fifth game of the season. It will air on ESPN, the second nationally-televised game for the Mavs. The Mavs’ second game of the season in New Orleans on Oct. 25 is also on ESPN. It will give the country a good, early look at how Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis work together. The Lakers also play in Dallas on Jan. 10.
2. Houston Rockets, 7:30 p.m., April 7
The Rockets play in Dallas on March 23 but this one could have direct playoff-seed implications. It begins the last week of the regular season and, if the season goes the way the Mavs hope, it could shape up to be a doozy.
3. Los Angeles Clippers, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George bring the remade Clippers to town for the first of two trips to Dallas. The also come to Dallas Jan. 21. The Clippers are the favorite for many to win the NBA championship and this will be our first look up close.
4. Golden State Warriors, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20
The Warriors are without Kevin Durant now but they should still be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. This ESPN televised game will give the Mavs an early chance to size up where they stand in the conference.
5. Washington Wizards, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23
The season begins at home against the Wizards. It will be our first regular-season glance at Porzingis and Doncic on the floor together.
6. Toronto Raptors, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16
The defending champs, although they’ll be a poor imitation of the club that won it all in June, will still be reigning champs when they visit the AAC. They no longer have Leonard or Danny Green, who signed with the Clippers and Lakers, respectively.
7. New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8
Porzingis will face his former team for the first time. It’s only the eighth game of the season and likely to be just the eighth game for Porzingis since he tore his left ACL in February 2018.
8. New Orleans Pelicans 1 p.m. Dec. 7
No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson makes the first of two trips to Dallas. The Pelicans are also in Dallas on March 4. The Mavs’ first two games against the Pelicans are in New Orleans and will be televised on ESPN and TNT.
9. Portland Trail Blazers, 8:30 p.m. Jan. 17
The Trail Blazers figure to be back in the thick of the Western Conference race after being swept by the Warriors in the conference finals last season. This game, two and a half months into the season and televised on ESPN, should give us a good idea where the Mavs stand in the conference.
10. Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1
Trae Young makes his only appearance in Dallas. Young, who played at Oklahoma, finished second to Doncic in Rookie of the Year voting. Although Doncic won it in a landslide, there were some who felt Young was the better player late in the season. They’re wrong, of course.