Phoenix Suns get rematch vs. Mavericks on opening night, per report
The Phoenix Suns’ regular season will begin at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 19, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The first game of the year for both teams follows Dallas’ elimination of Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals. The Suns lost Game 7 at Footprint Center in a 33-point blowout that saw the deficit grow as high as 46 points. The Mavericks went on to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, a series the Warriors won in five games.
Phoenix is coming off a franchise-record 64 wins, a run in the regular season that made the Suns the betting favorites for the NBA championship.
The Suns’ offseason has lacked any big moves in terms of arrivals or departures. They matched a four-year offer sheet for center Deandre Ayton while agreeing to new extensions with shooting guard Devin Booker and head coach Monty Williams.
Backup center JaVale McGee signed with Dallas in free agency while Phoenix retained center Bismack Biyombo and forward Ish Wainright. It added wings Damion Lee and Josh Okogie, plus center Jock Landale. Phoenix, of course, has been linked as one of the preferred destinations for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, who reportedly asked for a trade at the start of free agency and still remains with Brooklyn.
Dallas, meanwhile, has lost starting guard Jalen Brunson after he signed a four-year deal with the New York Knicks. Brunson was the Mavericks’ second-leading scorer behind Luka Doncic and averaged 18.7 points per game on 44.8% shooting in the seven playoff games versus the Suns. Spencer Dinwiddie, the guard the Mavericks acquired from the Washington Wizards at last year’s trade deadline, is expected to take on a bigger role in the starting lineup.
The Mavericks have gotten bigger this offseason with the signing of McGee, plus the acquisition of former Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood. McGee stated he is set to start, which would put him in a matchup with his ex-teammate Ayton.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported the NBA schedule is expected to be released on Wednesday. That schedule will reportedly include the Suns facing the Denver Nuggets on Christmas, Phoenix’s second straight season with a game on Dec. 25.