The Dallas Mavericks open up their season at home versus the Washington Wizards. A lot is expected from the Mavericks this season, and they’ll look to be firing on all cylinders early. With a plethora of mighty Western Conference foes on the early schedule, the Mavericks need to start with a win versus a weaker opponent. Let’s take a look at the Dallas Mavericks opening night preview.
Previewing Opening Night for the Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks expectations
The Mavericks starting five is still a mystery. Many thoughts on what it will be have been similar, however. Delon Wright will feature at point guard after his signing this offseason. Wright is a tough defender and slasher to the rim and will look to improve his overall shooting. He’s a good complement to Luka Doncic, who will have the majority of ball-handling duties. Doncic is the focal point of this team and should get even better. The All-Star Game is a real possibility, so he will look to send a message during the Mavericks’ opening night.
Justin Jackson looks like a safe bet at small forward. The sharpshooter gained more muscle and strength this offseason, making him more of a threat on both sides of the ball. The former 15th overall pick will look to break-out this year. Kristaps Porzingis, of course, is another major addition. He looked as good as new during the preseason, signaling that he should pick up where he left off with New York. He should feast versus an inexperienced Washington frontcourt. Lastly, expect Maxi Kleber to start over the injured Dwight Powell. Kleber will split time at center with Boban Marjanovic until Powell returns.
The team’s chemistry looked great during the preseason, and they’ll look to show that in the American Airlines Center.
Washington Wizards expectations
The Wizards are not projected to contend for the playoffs. This is due in large part to star John Wall‘s injury recovery. The team still has Bradley Beal, someone on the verge of superstardom, but the surrounding pieces in the nation’s capital scream mediocrity.
Washington’s biggest “splashes” of the off-season were signing Isaiah Thomas and drafting Rui Hachimura. Thomas hasn’t been the same player for the past couple of seasons, and is still severely undersized, especially if he was to start opposing Wright on the Mavericks. Hachimura has potential but was seen as a reach in the draft. He’s not ready to guard Porzingis this quickly.
Although the Wizards were strong offensively last season, they had the 29th ranked defense. A core of Beal, Thomas, Hachimura, and Thomas Bryant will not be enough to spoil the Mavericks’ opening night, let alone make the playoffs.
The Mavericks come in as strong favorites. Doncic and Porzingis scored in bunches early in the preseason, and if they do the same in this game, then it may be over quick.
Doncic will play a statement game, reminding the league of how much untapped potential he still has. Porzingis will also look to take advantage of a weak frontcourt and show that he is recovered from his injury.
Expect Beal to also have a huge game, especially after his latest contract extension, but it won’t prove to be enough as the Mavericks could potentially win by double-digits.
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