The Dallas Mavericks will be overseas this weekend for the NBA Europe Live Tour. They will be taking on Alba Berlin in Germany and then next week in Spain they will face FC Barcelona Regal. This is the first trip that the Dallas Mavericks will take in part of the NBA’s Europe Tour. What should Mavs fans expect in these first two pre-season games?
First off the Alba Berlin are an eight time German Champions and a six time German Cup winner as well. Barcelona is a two time European Champions, seventeen time Spanish Champions and twenty-two time Spanish Cup winners. It’s not going to be an easy trip for the Mavericks as they do face two of the best European teams, but if it’s anything like everyone saw during the Summer Olympics with Team USA dominating in pretty much every game, the Mavericks should be able to walk away with a pretty comfortable win. The games are played under NBA Rules and not what they are used to with the International Rules, so the advantage does go to the Mavericks.
However, I do believe that Dirk Nowitzki will be a little nervous coming into their first pre-season game. Who can blame him? He is going to be able to play in front of his home country as a Dallas Maverick for the first time in his basketball career. There’s no doubt that he is excited for the upcoming game in Berlin which tips off this Saturday. Nowitzki is hoping to have a 100 tickets available.
Nowitzki jokingly said “I told the NBA for all the crap I’ve been doing for them for fourteen years they better hook me up with a bunch of tickets.”
Other than Nowitzki this could be a great opportunity for the new guys and the old guys to bond and get to know one another. This will be a good time for players and coaches to relax as a team in a different country and doing so will help with the team’s chemistry tremendously.
Everybody in Mavs Nation knows that this is a brand new team with no expectation by fans coming into the season. Pre-season usually does not mean much to fans or to the media since an elite NBA team could go 0-8 in the pre-season and then go on to win 50-60 games in the regular season. However, for a team like the Mavericks who are with brand new players this will be a chance for the entire team to build up that much needed chemistry and a system that they are comfortable with. Remember, Jason Kidd is no longer here to play “quarterback” for these Mavs. Coach Rick Carlisle will be the one who calls most of the plays and especially during crunch time. The pre-season will give the newly acquired, Darren Collison, to understand what Coach Carlisle is wanting and expecting from his new point guard. Also the Mavs started training camp a little earlier than the other teams in the NBA since they are playing overseas.
For these two games in Europe Mavs fans should expect their team to go out and give a hundred percent. They should expect their team to play a full game with most of their main players like Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, O.J. Mayo and Elton Brand. It may not be a pretty start since they are a brand new team, but as the pre-season plays through the Mavs will be able to build up a chemistry that they lacked last year in the lockout season. This year I expect the Mavs to be the same old Mavs as they have been for the past decade and who knows this pre-season could help these guys come together to put up a season that the city of Dallas saw in 2011.