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Mavericks To Play Lakers, Suns, Nuggets Three Times Each on National TV

Andrew PierluissiCorrespondent IIIAugust 13, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks scores on a jumper against Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on October 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks received no love from the NBA as far as marquee dates go regarding the 2010-2011 NBA Schedule.  That does not mean fans will not get a chance to watch their favorite sports franchise in full throttle throughout the season.

The Dallas Mavericks will have 24 televised regular season games.  Six out of those games will be televised next season by TNT, ten by ESPN, and eight by NBATV.

What will make the Maverick’s national television schedule interesting is that among the 24 games televised, only 13 opponents will be featured.  That means fans will be seeing plenty of rematches, especially with the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and L.A. Lakers, all of whom they will meet three times each.  Each team should give plenty of reasons for Mavericks fans to watch every minute of each game.

Here is a look at how these games among the Nuggets, Suns, and Lakers are exciting and important for several different reasons.

Denver Nuggets

Dallas will meet Denver on November3, November 6, February 10, and April 6.  The latter three will be televised by NBATV, TNT, and ESPN respectively.

Off-season expectations have the Mavericks and the Nuggets at about the same level of potential.  Both teams are expected to make the playoffs comfortable and perhaps snatch a top seed in order to secure home court in the first round of the playoffs.

Denver will be missing Kenyon Martin for the start of the season and perhaps Chris Andersen, opening up the lanes for Dallas to attack them down low during their first two encounters.  Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois suffered a fracture on his foot and will likely miss a few weeks at the start of the season.  Other than that, both teams should have the rest of their players at full strength.

Another factor that will spice up the meetings between these teams is that newly recruited Al Harrington chose Denver over Dallas because he considered Denver the better team.  Perhaps Mavericks players might want to prove that consideration wrong.

It would not be surprising if both teams have similar records going into each of these games, especially the match-up on April 6.  This will only make the games that much more meaningful and certainly give them a playoff atmosphere.

If these are not enough reasons to watch these games, any NBA fan should consider both clubs are among the best in scoring the basketball and should provide plenty of highlights to remember.

Phoenix Suns

The Dallas Mavericks will play the Phoenix Suns on December 17, February 17, March 27, and April 10.  Their first three match-ups will be nationally televised by ESPN, TNT, and again ESPN, respectively.

How can yet another Steve Nash versus Dirk Nowitzki rematch be exciting?  They just are, and somehow it does not get old.  Each and every Dallas versus Phoenix game that has been aired on national television has been a terrific game. 

Rumors were running across the web of the possibility of Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki teaming up for a second time in Phoenix when Dirk decided to test free agency.  Rumors were only that, and Dirk re-signed with Dallas a few days later.

The Phoenix Suns are going into the season missing the only player in the team that gave the Mavericks match-up problems in Amare Stoudemire.  But they also have newcomers Josh Childress, Hackim Warrick, and Hedo Turkoglu who are capable of not only filling the hole left by Amare, but providing better defense and rebounding. 

The Phoenix Suns did not downgrade their team this summer as many people think.  They are just as good, if not better.  The Mavericks know this and will act accordingly.

These games are always emotional and full of energy and the fact that both teams will be fighting for a playoff seed should make these games all that much more entertaining.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Dallas Mavericks will play three regular season games against the defending champions in the 2010-2011 regular season, and they will all be televised.  The teams will square off only during the second half of the season on January 19, March 12, and March 31.  These games will be televised by ESPN, NBATV, and TNT, respectively.

As many experts indicate, there is only one way a basketball team can hope to beat the Lakers, and that is by matching their frontcourt size.  The Dallas Mavericks can do just that.  Known to be a team with a shallow frontcourt outside of Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks were able to put together one of the best one-two punch center combination together with Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler.  Although no team can effectively shut down Odom, Bynum, and Gasol over a 48 minute game, Dallas should at least be able to slow them down.

The Mavericks are considered to be one of the only teams that can effectively match up with the former champions and give them a good fight.  While the Lakers can bully many teams with their arsenal of weapons, their only weakness is the lack of a speedy point guard, which is just about Dallas’ only weakness defensively.

The teams split their meetings last year 2-2.  This time there will be no split.  These games will be a must watch given the time during the season where the games take place, with all three games to be played in a span of seven weeks.

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