Analyzing Mavericks’ 2019-20 schedule: Vastly increased national TV exposure, fewer back-to-backs

The Mavericks’ summer retooling, and the prospect of a healthy Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup, have done little to impress reporters and oddsmakers.

Clearly, though, TV network executives’ interest in the Mavericks is piqued, judging from Monday’s release of the 2019-20 NBA schedule.

Nine Mavericks games will air nationally on ESPN, including the season’s second game, at New Orleans on Oct. 25. Four Dallas games will air on TNT.

Last season, despite the addition of eventual Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, the Mavericks were scheduled for two ESPN appearances and three on TNT. In 2017-18, Dallas was on ESPN five times and TNT once.

The Mavericks are coming off a 33-49 finish, their third straight losing season. They added Seth Curry, Delon Wright and Boban Marjanovic this offseason, but those moves were deemed underwhelming compared with acquisitions by other Western Conference teams.

Porzingis was acquired from the Knicks in late January, but when the Mavericks open the 40th season in franchise history, on Oct. 23 at home against Washington, it will be Porzingis’ first regular-season game in 20 months, because of a February 2018 ACL tear.

Porzingis’ two games against his former team come within the season’s first four weeks. The Mavericks host the Knicks on Nov. 8 then play at New York just six days later in a game that will air on TNT.

The Nov. 8 game also will be 2018 Mavericks first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr.’s first game at American Airlines Center since he was dealt to the Knicks as part of the seven-player trade that brought Porzingis to Dallas.

Here are other highlights and takeaways from the Mavericks’ schedule, with NBA teams starting one week later than last season to account for the Aug. 31-Sept. 15 FIBA World Cup:

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers make their AAC appearances Nov. 1 (on ESPN) and Jan. 10.

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Clippers make their AAC appearances on Nov. 26 and Jan. 21.

James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets’ two visits occur late in the season, on March 23 and April 7.

Three of Dallas’ first 23 games are against New Orleans and prohibitive Rookie of the Year favorite Zion Williamson. The Pelicans visit Dallas on Dec. 7 and March 4.

The Mavericks’ busiest months are December, January and March, with 15 games apiece. Only six of the December games are at home, with one of the road games occurring Dec. 12 against Detroit in Mexico City. The Pistons are classified as the home team that night, so in reality Dallas will have 41 home games, 40 road games and one neutral-site game.

Dallas has back-to-back games 13 times, compared with 14 back-to-backs last season and 15 in each of the previous two seasons. The league average is 12.4 back-to-backs, down from last season’s 13.3 average.

The Mavericks’ longest homestand is six games, from Jan. 2-11, though that stretch concludes with unusual back-to-back home games, against the Lakers and Sixers. The Mavericks also have back-to-back home games Dec. 7-8.

Both of Dallas’ longest road trips, four games apiece, will occur within 24 days of one another — Feb. 26 through March 2, and March 16-21.

The Mavericks’ early schedule isn’t particularly road- or home-heavy. Of their 33 games before Jan. 1, 16 are at home; likewise they play 25 of their 49 games after Jan. 1 at home, although only three of their eight April games are at home.

Full schedule

DATE HOME/AWAY OPPONENT TIME TV
Wed. Oct. 23 Washington 7:30
Fri. Oct. 25 @ New Orleans 7:00 ESPN
Sun. Oct. 27 Portland 6:00
Tues. Oct. 29 @ Denver 8:00
Fri. Nov. 1 L.A. Lakers 8:30 ESPN
Sun. Nov. 3 @ Cleveland 6:30
Wed. Nov. 6 Orlando 7:30
Fri. Nov. 8 New York 7:30
Sat. Nov. 9 @ Memphis 7:00
Mon. Nov. 11 @ Boston 6:30
Thurs. Nov. 14 @ New York 7:00 TNT
Sat. Nov. 16 Toronto 7:30
Mon. Nov. 18 San Antonio 7:30
Wed. Nov. 20 Golden State 6:30 ESPN
Fri. Nov. 22 Cleveland 7:30
Sun. Nov. 24 @ Houston 2:30
Tues. Nov. 26 L.A. Clippers 7:30
Fri. Nov. 29 @ Phoenix 8:00
Sun. Dec. 1 @ L.A. Lakers 3:00
Tues. Dec. 3 @ New Orleans 6:30 TNT
Wed. Dec. 4 Minnesota 7:30
Sat. Dec. 7 New Orleans 1:00
Sun. Dec. 8 Sacramento 6:00
*Thurs. Dec. 12 @ Mexico City Detroit* 8:00
Sat. Dec. 14 Miami 7:30
Mon. Dec. 16 @ Milwaukee 7:00
Wed. Dec. 18 Boston 7:30
Fri. Dec. 20 @ Philadelphia 7:00 ESPN
Sun. Dec. 22 @ Toronto 2:30
Thurs. Dec. 26 San Antonio 7:30
Sat. Dec. 28 @ Golden State 7:30
Sun. Dec. 29 @ L.A. Lakers 8:30
Tues. Dec. 31 @ Oklahoma City 7:00
Thurs. Jan. 2 Brooklyn 7:30
Sat. Jan. 4 Charlotte 7:30
Mon. Jan. 6 Chicago 7:30
Wed. Jan. 8 Denver 6:30 ESPN
Fri. Jan. 10 L.A. Lakers 7:30
Sat. Jan. 11 Philadelphia 7:30
Tues. Jan. 14 @ Golden State 9:30
Wed. Jan. 15 @ Sacramento 9:00
Fri. Jan. 17 Portland 8:30 ESPN
Tues. Jan. 21 L.A. Clippers 7:30
Thurs. Jan. 23 @ Portland 9:30 TNT
Sat. Jan. 25 @ Utah 4:00
Mon. Jan. 27 @ Oklahoma City 7:00
Tues. Jan. 28 Phoenix 7:30
Fri. Jan. 31 @ Houston 7:00 ESPN
Sat. Feb. 1 Atlanta 7:30
Mon. Feb. 3 @ Indiana 6:00
Wed. Feb. 5 Memphis 7:30
Fri. Feb. 7 @ Washington 6:00
Sat. Feb. 8 @ Charlotte 6:00
Mon. Feb. 10 Utah 7:30
Wed. Feb. 12 Sacramento 7:30
Fri. Feb. 21 @ Orlando 6:00
Sat. Feb. 22 @ Atlanta 6:30
Mon. Feb. 24 Minnesota 7:30
Wed. Feb. 26 @ San Antonio 6:30 ESPN
Fri. Feb. 28 @ Miami 7:00
Sun. Mar. 1 @ Minnesota 2:30
Mon. Mar. 2 @ Chicago 7:00
Wed. Mar. 4 New Orleans 7:30
Fri. Mar. 6 Memphis 7:30
Sun. Mar. 8 Indiana 6:00
Tues. Mar. 10 @ San Antonio 7:00 TNT
Wed. Mar. 11 Denver 7:30
Sat. Mar. 14 Phoenix 1:00
Mon. Mar. 16 @ L.A. Clippers 9:30 ESPN
Tues. Mar. 17 @ Sacramento 9:00
Thurs. Mar. 19 @ Portland 9:00
Sat. Mar. 21 @ Phoenix 9:00
Mon. Mar. 23 Houston 7:30
Thurs. Mar. 26 Utah 7:30
Sun. Mar. 29 Milwaukee 2:00
Wed. Apr. 1 @ Minnesota 7:00
Fri. Apr. 3 @ Memphis 7:00
Sun. Apr. 5 @ Brooklyn 5:00
Tues. Apr. 7 Houston 7:30
Sat. Apr. 11 Detroit 2:00
Mon. Apr. 13 @ Denver 8:00
Wed. Apr. 15 Oklahoma City 6:30

All Times Dallas Time (CT)

*game played in Mexico City, Mexico

— The Mavericks’ local television schedule for games on FOX Sports Southwest will be released at a later date. All games can be heard on ESPN 103.3 FM and on Univision 1270 AM (KFLC).

Blogs