18 seasons. This will be the start of what the Dallas Mavericks could only hope would be an incredible season with Dirk Nowitzki returning for his 18th season in the NBA. The Mavericks face of the franchise has been there since the late 1990's and would love to have another shot at an NBA title. While this could have been a wonderful dream, it seems like making the playoffs would make for a good and successful season for the Mavericks. They went winless in the preseason but were able to see both Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams return from injuries earlier than previously expected.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks will see a familiar face wearing the Suns home whites. Tyson Chandler will be there making it difficult for the Mavericks to try and go to the rim throughout the game, and being efficient for putting back offensive rebounds as Chandler has always been a high percentage shooter, merely because he shoots within five feet of the hoop every time. Chandler will be joined in the Suns starting lineup by Brandon Knight at point guard, Eric Bledsoe at shooting guard, P.J. Tucker at small forward, and Markieff Morris at power forward.
The other key thing to keep tabs on in this game is what kind of impact will having another well known big man in second year center Alex Len will have for the Suns. Len didn't do a whole lot last year but was able to put in a sold six points per game and six rebounds per game with about 22 minutes of game action. If he is going to be putting in the action against more second stringers, especially at the Mavericks position of weakness, Len could be a key X-Factor in this contest.
The remaining Mavericks expected starters are Chandlers Parsons at small forward and Zaza Pachulia at center. Parsons may not get the start right now as he has been dealing with an injury, and if he sits expect more action from the rookie from the Virginia Cavaliers, Justin Anderson. Anderson will be playing in his first NBA game and it would be a shock to see him getting his first NBA start as well.
When it comes to a coaching advantage in this game, you would have to give the edge to Rick Carlisle over Jeff Hornacek. Carlisle has a ring from winning the NBA Finals back in 2011 and that is a big advantage between these two.
Both teams will be fighting to try to reach the playoffs in 2015, so getting an early season win over the other will be big for whoever achieves victory. Expect big games from the shooting guards as Bledsoe and Matthews should both do quite well against each other. But in the end the Suns should be able to get the victory. Expect to see a final score in the neighborhood of Suns 104, Mavericks 96.