NBA Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks: 5 Must-See Games for Fans

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5 Must See Games on the Dallas Mavericks Schedule

Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

With the new NBA season about to get under way and teams starting training camp, people are making predictions about what they think will happen -- whether or not they think a certain team will make the playoffs or have a better record this year than last season.

With the anticipation of the new season also comes the planning of games to watch and possibly go see. In the case of the Dallas Mavericks, the schedule isn't extremely easy to open up the season. The Mavericks have 18 games in the first month of the season, and 12 of them are against teams that made the playoffs a year ago.

If the Mavericks hope to shake off missing the playoffs last season and return to the postseason, they are going to have to get out of the gate strong against some pretty steep competition.

With the additions of Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, DeJuan Blair and Samuel Dalembert, Dallas looks to get back into the the NBA title conversation. It won't be easy with the Houston Rockets upgrading and adding Dwight Howard. Oklahoma City looks to get back to the Finals as well with a healthy Russell Westbrook this year.

Obviously every game is important and brings a certain amount of intrigue. However, this year, there are a certain number of games that hold even more intrigue than before. When the schedule came out earlier in the summer, there were certain games that were circled as must-see games for Mavericks fans. Here are the top five must-see games for the 2013-2014 season.

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5. March 25 - Oklahoma City Thunder

Mark D. Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Mavericks knocked out the Thunder in the 2011 playoffs, this has become one of the more intense rivalries in the NBA. Even when the Mavericks were struggling last year, they always seemed to get up and play the Thunder really close and really well. This is the only visit Oklahoma City has to Dallas this year, and look for it to be just as energetic as always.

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4. December 26 - San Antonio Spurs

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

The old adage says "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best". The Spurs proved last year that they are still one of the elite teams in the Western Conference as they took the Miami Heat to Game 7 in the NBA Finals. It will be interesting to see how the new Mavericks handle playing against the veteran San Antonio Spurs.

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3. February 18 - Miami Heat

Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Ever since 2006 when Dwyane Wade dismantled the Mavericks in the NBA Finals, the fans have made it personal. Add in the fact that most Mavericks fans believe the officials handed the trophy to the Heat that year, and it gets even more heated (no pun intended). Even though the Mavericks knocked off the Heat in 2011 for the championship, this is a game every fan circles at the beginning of the season as a must-win for Dallas.

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2. November 20 - Houston Rockets

Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

As soon as Dwight Howard made his mind up that he was going to the Houston Rockets, Maverick fans couldn't wait for the first time he comes to the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas. I'm pretty sure the boo-birds will be out in full force for this game.

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1. March 23 - Brooklyn Nets

Debby Wong - USA TODAY Sports

As much as fans can't wait to boo Dwight Howard, they are just as ready to cheer when the Nets come to town. This will be the first time Jason Kidd will be back in town as an opposing coach. Not only will Kidd be back, but so will Jason Terry -- both of whom were extremely vital in bringing the championship to Dallas.