Division rivals Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs test each other right from the get-go of the 2023-24 NBA season in this Thursday game that will also serve as the regular-season debut of Victor Wembanyama. Will the Mavs give Wemby a rude welcome to the league? Or will the Spurs find success right away?
Catch this game live on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 9:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Dallas Mavericks (0-0/0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Josh Green
- PF: Grant Williams
- C: Dereck Lively II
Despite the addition of Kyrie Irving to their roster last season, the Mavs failed to make it to the NBA Playoffs. This time, it could be a different story for the Mavs. With a full training camp and offseason, Irving must be so much more ingrained in the culture and system of Dallas basketball — definitely not a bad thing for the Mavs. And then there’s Luka Doncic, who is now in his sixth season in the league.
The four-time NBA All-Star averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game last season for the Mavs, who finished sixth in the league with a 116.8 offensive rating. The Mavs also welcome Grant Williams, who was acquired via a trade from the Boston Celtics in the offseason. He’s not going to move the needle much for Dallas, but he’s a muscle the Mavs can throw at Victor Wembanyama along with rookie Dereck Lively II and Maxi Kleber. The Mavs are 3-2-1 against the spread in their last six meetings with San Antonio, dating back to 2021.
Home: San Antonio Spurs (0-0/0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Tre Jones
- SG: Devin Vassell
- SF: Keldon Johnson
- PF: Jeremy Sochan
- C: Victor Wembanyama
The Spurs lost an eye-popping total of 60 games last season but it was all worth it based on what Wembanyama showed in the offseason. The first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is a game-changer for San Antonio and he’s expected to make a huge impact on the team right away. His combination of size, length, athleticism, and quickness is out of this world.
His defense, in particular, is made of scary stuff, as he has the ability to cover so much ground and alter shots from nearly everywhere on the floor. Outside of Wembanyama, the Spurs don’t look so intimidating., though, they still have Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell, who averaged 22.0 and 18.5 points last season, respectively. Nevertheless, there is no denying that they got better with Wemby in tow.
Spread: The Mavs (-4.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (230.0) hits the Under.