As we approach the end of the offseason, there's one big item still on the docket: the 2023-24 schedule release. Mavericks fans are especially excited to find out when their team is playing following several big moves this summer.
Well, it appears we now know who Dallas will open the year against.
According to Marc Stein, the league has "tentatively" scheduled a season-opening matchup between the Mavericks and Spurs on Oct. 25. San Antonio is slated to be the home team, per Stein, sending Dallas on the road to begin the year.
This pairing makes a ton of sense. In-state rivalry aisde, there's also the international element at play here. The Mavericks already have a foreign-born star in Luka Doncic, while the Spurs are hoping Victor Wembenyama continues to the franchise's history of elite play from its big men.
I can't help but see this home-away setup as a little disrespectful toward Dallas, however. Obviously Wembenyama's NBA debut is a huge story, but his arrival shouldn't automatically make San Antonio the home team.
After all, we saw how raw the French big man is in Summer League. He'll have a ton of growing pains to begin his career as he adjusts to the pace and physicality of the NBA. There's a good chance his debut is on the quieter side, and the rest of the Spurs' roster simply isn't entertaining enough to warrant opening the year at home.
I mean, Doncic didn't even play at home in his NBA debut, and he had a much stronger resume coming over from Europe. This feels like another case of the league's Spurs favoritism shining through.
The good news is, Dallas has more than enough talent spoil all the fan fare around San Antonio. With Kyrie Irving back, plus the additions of Grant Williams and Richaun Holmes, this rotation looks primed for a bounce-back campaign. There'd be no better way to begin the year than ruining the Spurs' big moment with a blowout win.
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