(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
I think I know who's in charge of the Mavs schedule.
The "Mavs Disser" Charles Barkley.
We don't have much appearances on national TV.
From Mavericks Radio Play by Play : Here's Chuck Cooperstein
My initial thoughts on the just-released Mavs schedule? In my five years as the team's radio play-by-play man, it's the least favorable schedule Dallas has been given. That and more assorted thoughts ...
There are 20 back-to-backs (the Mavs had 16 in each of the last two seasons). There is a five-game road trip in January (the Mavs' longest trip last year was four). There is a four-game trip in mid-November. There are four straight road games the week after Christmas(although they are broken up by three days between the first two games on the trip. They also have what is, in effect, a six game trip: Three on the road around Thanksgiving. Home for a game vs. Philadelphia. And then back out on the road for two more.
There are many more out-and-back trips in the second half of the season that call for much more traveling than I might deem necessary. In late January, the Mavericks are in Phoenix, then come home to play Portland, and then go right back to Utah. At the end of February, the Mavericks are in Atlanta, come home to play a late Sunday game against New Orleans and then go right back out after the game to play in Charlotte in an early game the next night. All told, there are seven out-and-back trips in the second half of the season.
The NBA obviously doesn't think much of the Mavs with this type of schedule. In addition, the lack of national TV appearances on ABC and TNT is noteworthy. Last year the Mavericks had five games on ABC. They have none this year. Two years ago, the Mavericks had the maximum nine appearances on TNT. Last year they have seven. This year there are only four, and one of them is part of the MLK Day Triple Header. So in the prime Thursday night slot the Mavericks will appear only three times.
Of course, the lack of network TV means more games my guys Mark and Bob can do. So I am VERY happy for them!
I do like the Christmas week day game vs Memphis. The game vs Atlanta two years ago provided a different type of vibe in the AAC, with lots of kids there. It provides an even better chance for the young ones to be exposed to the Mavs and NBA basketball. I wish the Mavs would do it more often. ... kind of like how Toronto does with their Sunday games always being afternoon games (Including vs. the Mavericks this season).
On a personal note, I am delighted to see the night of January 7 as an off night. That is the night of the BCS national title game. As you know, last year, I was forced to split loyalties (And TV monitors) as my Mighty Florida Gators won the title beating Oklahoma while the Mavericks were playing the Knicks. No such splits this year. Maybe I can make a quickie road trip to Pasadena and then back in time for the Mavs in San Antonio the next night?
To see Mark Followills thoughts about the schedule.