By Dorothy J. Gentry
It will be a Dallas Mavericks kind of holiday as the team’s opening week of the 2020-21 season features a December 23rd opener against the Phoenix Sun on the road and a Christmas Day matchup with the LeBron James and the defending NBA champion L.A. Lakers.
The Mavs and all of the NBA announced their 2020-21 first half schedule on Friday. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the League decided to release only half of its schedule in case any games needed to be rescheduled or postponed due to COVID-19.
The second half schedule (March 11 to May 16, 2021), which will be will be released during the latter part of the first half of the schedule, will include the remainder of each team’s 72 games not scheduled in the first half as well as any games postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added to the second half schedule.
Mavs Schedule Highlights:
Luka Doncic and the Mavs open the season on the road against Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, December 23, at 9:30 pm CT on ESPN.
Following their opener against the Suns, the Mavericks will travel to Los Angeles for a Christmas matchup with LeBron James and the defending NBA champion L.A. Lakers at 7 pm CT on ABC. It will mark the team’s first Christmas Day game since 2011.
Dallas will wrap up its opening-week road trip with a playoff rematch against Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers on December 27, at 2:30 pm CT.
The 2020-21 campaign will mark the 41st season in Mavericks history, including the club’s 20th playing at American Airlines Center. The team’s first half schedule will see it play 37 games (19 at home, 18 on road).
Dallas is slated to play 16 nationally televised games during the first half of the season, including six on ESPN, four on TNT, three on ABC and three on NBA TV. Eleven of Dallas’ first 16 games will be played on the road, including a three-game West Coast trip to begin the year.
Dallas is scheduled to conclude its season series with six teams over the first half of the year (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Orlando and Phoenix). On the contrary, there are four clubs that the Mavericks will not face in the opening half of the season (Cleveland, New York, Sacramento and Washington).
The team’s longest homestand of the first half of the season is a seven-game stretch against Golden State (February 4 and 6), Minnesota (February 8), Atlanta (February 10), New Orleans (February 12), Portland (February 14) and Detroit (February 17). Dallas’ longest road trip over the first half of the year will be three games (four times).
The Mavericks are scheduled to play six back-to-backs during the first half of the season. Three of those will begin on the road and end at home, one will begin at home and finish on the road, one will be road-to-road, and the other will require no travel (begin and end at home).
FOX Sports Southwest will air 32 of Dallas’s 37 games over the first half of the season. Mark Followill returns for his 16th season as the play-by-play voice for all Mavericks telecasts. Former Mavericks great Derek Harper is back for his 10th season as the team’s color commentator, while Jeff “Skin” Wade enters his 12th season as an analyst.
All games can be heard on ESPN 103.3 FM with Chuck Cooperstein returning for his 16th season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Mavericks, where he will again be joined on the broadcast by former Mavericks great Brad Davis. Spanish broadcast information will be announced at a later date.