Inside Report: Five tidbits from the Mavs' schedule
Tuesday, the NBA and the Dallas Mavericks announced the full schedule for the 2010-11 season. Mavericks season tickets, partial plans and discounted Platinum Club level suites are on sale now. Again this season, the Mavs will offer over 4,300 tickets priced at $15 or less for all home games. Likewise, the Mavericks have several ticket plans and suite packages at various prices designed to fit all needs. Mavs group tickets will go on sale the week of Aug. 23. Call (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or visit Mavs.com today to get in on the excitement of Mavs basketball!
And now, Earl K. Sneed gives his five most interesting tidbits of the Mavericks' schedule:
1. Hey, world!: After a 55-win season and the Southwest Division title, the Mavericks are getting more national face time than a year ago. Appearing 20 times nationally in 2009-10, the Mavericks have 25 nationally-televised games to be aired on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV this upcoming season. One of which is a preseason game against Phoenix on Oct. 9, airing on TNT.
The Mavericks will appear 10 times on ESPN (Nov. 19 vs. Chicago; Dec. 3 at Utah; Dec. 15 vs. Portland; Dec. 17 vs. Phoenix; Jan. 14 at San Antonio; Jan. 19 vs. L.A. Lakers; Feb. 4 at Boston; March 16 at Golden State; March 27 at Phoenix; April 6 vs. Denver). The 10 appearances are up one from last season.
And the team will also showcase itself to the world eight times, one more than last year, on NBA TV (Nov. 6 vs. Denver; Nov. 20 at Atlanta; Nov. 29 vs. Houston; Dec. 11 vs. Utah; Dec. 20 at Miami; Jan. 29 vs. Atlanta; March 12 vs. L.A. Lakers and April 3 at Portland). Eight other Tuesday games could be voted on by fans to appear on the 24-hour network's Fan Night. NBA TV is viewed in over 30 different countries.
Not to be forgotten, Dallas will be televised seven times on TNT (Oct. 9 at Phoenix [preseason]; Dec. 30 vs. San Antonio; Jan. 6 vs. Oklahoma City; Jan. 20 at Chicago; Feb. 10 at Denver; Feb. 17 at Phoenix and Mar. 31 at the L.A. Lakers). The Mavs appeared just four times on the network last season.
2. Exhibit on display: After just seven preseason games a season ago, the Mavericks have upped the exhibition schedule to eight matchups. That includes four home games to be played at the American Airlines Center (Oct. 5 vs. Washington; Oct. 7 vs. Chicago; Oct. 11 vs. Cleveland and Houston to conclude the preseason on Oct. 22).
The crown jewel of the preseason will be the Mavs' outdoor affair against Phoenix in Indiana Wells, CA at the Tennis Garden on Oct. 9. When the event tips off in Coachella Valley, it will be just the third NBA game held outdoors in the modern era. Other road games include Detroit on Oct. 13 (played in Grand Rapids, MI), Chicago on Oct. 15 and Orlando on Oct. 20.
3. The wild, wild West: The Mavericks will have just three games to enforce their will against two of the other early-season favorites in the Western Conference. Two home games against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (on Jan. 19 and March 12) and one away matchup at the Staples Center (March 31) should serve notice to the champs that the Mavs are true contenders for the crown.
Dallas will also make two trips up I-35 to Oklahoma City to deal with the upstart Thunder on Nov. 24 and Dec. 27. The young Thunder squad comes south to Big D just once on Jan. 6.
As with every year, the Mavs will battle Southwest Division rivals San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Memphis four times. San Antonio, the only team in the division besides Dallas to make the playoffs and the squad the Mavericks will look for revenge against after last season's first-round playoff defeat, comes to town on Dec. 30 and March 18. The Mavs head to the Alamo City on Nov. 26 and Jan. 14.
The remaining playoff teams from the conference (Denver, Phoenix, Portland and Utah) all make two trips to Dallas, while also hosting the Mavericks twice in their unfriendly confines.
4. Home cookin' and life on the road: Starting the season with 17 of their first 26 games at the American Airlines Center, housing the team for a 10th season, should certainly help the Mavericks get off to a hot start. Beginning with the season opener at home on Oct. 27 against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Mavericks have 19 home games through the end of December compared to just 12 games away from Big D. That includes a six-game home stand from Dec. 7-17 for the longest stint at home all season.
But things get interesting in February, when the league's best road team (27-14) a season ago journeys out for nine of its 12 games in the month. Nine of Dallas' season-high tying 16 games in March are on the road, concluding with a six-game all-Western Conference trip from March 26 to April 3. Four of those six games are against playoff teams (Utah, Phoenix, L.A. Lakers and Portland) from last season.
5. Quick turnarounds: The Mavericks play 20 back-to-backs in the 2010-11 campaign, tailor-made by a schedule-maker to be played in three combination of ways -- 11 of which are on the road, six begin in Dallas and finish up on the road and three are away-home combos. Eight of Dallas’ back-to-backs come after the All-Star break (note the All-Star Game will be played in L.A.'s Staples Center on Feb. 20), with a season-high five back-to-backs coming in the month of March.
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