Mark These Mavs Matchups on Your Calendar


The Dallas Mavericks are gearing up for another quality season.

New addition Christian Wood looked especially brilliant this preseason. Fans are eager to watch how the team will adjust to the loss of guard Jalen Brunson in free agency. They’re also dying to see how Wood and fellow free-agency addition JaVale McGee will fit into the Mavs’ system.

Dallas’ recent playoff success, coupled with superstar point guard Luka Dončić‘s rivalries with other superstars, have gained the team some new foes in the past couple of years. With a healthy and stacked Western Conference, Dallas will certainly have its fair share of competition.

All of this makes for sensational entertainment, so let’s take a look at some of these exciting matchups, including what their strong preseason finale played a week ago means heading into Wednesday night.

Mavs Set Tone With Preseason Finale Win Over Jazz

Even though this game might seem like an average preseason outing, the importance of this matchup was much deeper. As many Mavs fans may recall, Dallas beat Utah in a six-game series last season. More importantly, they advanced to the second round for the first time since the 2011 title run.

This loss sent the Jazz into a major rebuild. The team traded away their two biggest stars — Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert — instead choosing to collect draft picks. Many MFFLs proclaim that Dončić and Dallas’ phenomenal play essentially ended the Mitchell-Gobert era.

This truth likely hit a chord with the Jazz, who tried to take revenge on the Mavs’ home court. Utah came short, however, losing 101-115. Dončić dropped 24 points, while new addition Christian Wood notched a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.

New Jazz addition Lauri Markkanen recorded a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double as well. Both teams had four players score over 10 points, making them relatively matched. Only one team has an MVP favorite, however, which gives the Mavs the edge when previewing their upcoming matchups.


Anyone who watched the playoffs last year needs no explanation to why this matchup is significant.

If fans thought the Jazz series was dramatic, the Mavs’ second-round series against the Suns was nothing short of chaos. Dallas entered the series as clear underdogs, a third seed going up against the defending Western Conference champions and the team with the best record in the entire league.

Most media members had the Suns taking the series — and even the championship — with many thinking it would be a clean sweep.

They couldn’t have been more wrong, however. After losing the first two games on the road, the Mavs rallied back to go 3-1 in the following four games and tie the series up at three games apiece.

It all boiled down to a win-or-go-home Game 7. Despite Dallas’s phenomenal play, the media still had the Suns winning the series. To everyone’s shock, however, the Suns not only lost the game, but did so in humiliating fashion. Dončić had as many points as the entire Suns team combined at the half and the team led by 30, cruising to a 123-90 rout.

Players and fans alike were embarrassed at the unexpected loss. Look for Phoenix to try to avenge their mortifying exit loss at home.


Last year, Memphis and Dallas were pretty evenly matched in terms of success.

The Grizzlies finished second in the Western Conference, while the Mavs finished fourth. Both teams lost to the Warriors in the playoffs, but each had spectacular seasons thanks to Luka and Ja Morant.

With such high-caliber players, this matchup is bound to be exciting regardless. That’s especially true this season, as the two teams will likely find themselves battling for the same playoff spots and opportunities given their relatively similar performances last season.

Plus, the first home game of the season is always exciting for MFFLs looking to see old and new faces alike at the American Airlines Center.


Prior to this past season, a fiery rivalry was steadily intensifying between Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers as a result of two-straight postseason battles.

Unfortunately, this was somewhat extinguished with the Clippers’ injury woes and consequent lack of success last season.

With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George returning to action together this season, however, the rivalry could find itself reignited as both teams are in contention for the Western Conference crown. Tensions are sure to be high as the Clippers travel into Mavs territory early in the new season.


The Mavs follow up their bout with the Clippers the following night against the Houston Rockets.

While those previous matchups were significant on a technical level, this next one means a lot on a personal level. Dallas’s favorite big friendly giant, Boban Marjanović, will return to Dallas for the first time since being traded to the Rockets in the C-Wood trade. Dallas will surely have something planned to honor his return, and fans will be happy to see their favorite big man at the AAC again, though no longer donning Mavs blue.

Plus, everyone wants to see Luka and Bobi reunite.

Additionally, Wood will play his former team for the first time. After not performing to expectations in Houston, the 27-year-old looks to prove doubters wrong.


Watching Luka and Nikola Jokic blossom over the past couple of years has been nothing short of astounding.

Jokic has won back-to-back MVPs and broken numerous records. Dončić has already made his own mark on the record books in just four NBA seasons. Both seem to break a record every other game and always push each other to the limits.

Furthermore, the Mavs and Nuggets are Western Conference rivals and will undoubtedly fight for the same spots and opportunities so many others desire to. Despite the on-court rivalry, Dončić and Jokic have developed a friendship during this time. Every time they chat, rumors always seem to swirl about a possible team up, as Jokic becomes a free agent next summer.

Fans and media will most certainly be keeping a close eye on the pair. The Mavs and Nuggets will battle in Dallas in back-to-back games in November.


The Mavs’ storybook playoff run was put to an abrupt end by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors last season. Dallas put up a good fight, but could not overcome their shooting woes to reach the NBA Finals. With the flurry of offseason moves, only time will whether the Mavs are better or worse equipped to eke out a win.

One thing’s for sure, though. Dallas dominating Golden State would certainly put the league on alert. The Mavs will seek revenge against the Warriors at home in late November.


No “matchups to watch” list would be complete without the famous Christmas Day game.

Only the best teams get to play on this coveted day, and the Mavs are one of those teams. Dallas and LA faced off on this very same day two years ago, with the Lakers taking home the win. Last time the two played on Christmas, the Lakers were clearly the better team, going on to clinch the top seed and the championship.

This time around, however, things are a little different. The Lakers missed the playoffs last season. It seems like LA might be the underdog, and Dallas finally has a chance to get revenge for their loss and deliver MFFLs the greatest gift of all— a win.


Many MFFLs were bitter about guard Jalen Brunson’s decision to leave the Mavs for the New York Knicks in free agency.

Many thought the decision didn’t make sense. After all, Dallas had just reached the Conference Finals, while the Knicks didn’t even make the playoffs.

JB’s story offers an explanation, however. Brunson grew up in nearby New Jersey and always dreamed of playing for the Knicks. It made sense that he would want to fulfill his childhood dreams. Understanding his choice, many worried for the Mavs’ future. Brunson was a key player in that playoff run, especially when Dončić was out with a calf injury for part of the Jazz series.

Brunson returns to Dallas on December 27th, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he’ll be met with grateful applause or resentful boos.


The Mavs made one of the craziest trade deadline moves when they shipped star forward Kristaps Porzingis and a second-round pick to the Wizards in return for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.

Many thought the trade was a horrible idea at the time. After all, these were the numbers the two new Mavs were putting up at the time.

Meanwhile, Porzingis was averaging 20 points and nine rebounds over his past three seasons with the Mavs. Add the fact that Dallas lost a pick (something they don’t have much of) and MFFLs were understandably upset. That anger soon turned to gratitude, however, when both players started to turn their seasons around— especially Dinwiddie, who had several memorable buzzer beaters and averaged 16 points & four assists per game with the Mavs.

Dinwiddie’s improvement, combined with the Mavs’ general success post-KP trade, meant that fans realized how much the injury-prone Porzingis — and his large contract — were holding the team back. Dallas lost to KP & the Wizards once last season, but January 24th marks the first time the unicorn will return to the AAC. MFFLs will watch on as the Mavs attempt to prove to KP how successful they can be without him.

With all these exciting matchups, you’d be crazy not to tune into a Mavs game this season. The new and (hopefully) improved Mavericks will look to replicate and possibly improve on last year’s success. Luka is set to make an MVP campaign, while Christian Wood could win 6th Man of the Year. It’s impossible to predict what this year has in store, but one thing’s for certain:

The Mavs are going to put on a show.

About Meera Murali

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