The recent schedule leaks involving the Mavericks have fans buzzing ahead of the official release. Led by a star duo in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, and boasting a revamped rotation, Dallas is a great candidate to get plenty of primetime love in 2023-24.
In fact, we already know the Mavs are playing on one of the biggest days of the regular season.
Shams Charania of the Athletic reported Thursday night that the Mavericks are slated to face the Suns on Dec. 25. Doncic and company will head on the road to face Phoenix at the Footprint Center.
This matchup is the second-last contest of the holiday. It follows Bucks-Knicks, 76ers-Heat and Celtics-Lakers, while preceding Warriors-Nuggets.
It's no surprise Dallas and Phoenix will be pitted against one another to celebrate Christmas. These franchises have a deep history with each other that's developed into a rivalry. Steve Nash's changing of allegiances was the center of this in the late '90s and early 2000s, as the legendary point guard was traded from the Suns to Mavericks in 1998 before returning to Phoenix in 2004.
Heated playoff series have only intensified animosity on both sides. Two straight Western Conference Finals meetings -- which included fights, injuries and plenty of controversy -- serve as the backbone of this rivalry.
Another memorable series in 2022 again reignited emotions. The battle between young stars in Luka Doncic and Devin Booker was the headliner, though there were a few scuffles as well. However, NBA fans around the world will mostly remember Game 7 from that series, which saw Dallas blow the doors off of Phoenix, cruising to a 123-90 victory on the road and punching a ticket to the WCF.
Now the Suns have built a super team, adding the likes of Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal to help with fulfill their championship dreams. The offseason addition of Beal has everyone afriad of Phoenix, but I don't expect Dallas to lay down in primetime. It'd be a perfect holiday for the Mavs if they serve up another blowout with the entire league watching.
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