Wednesday night (02:30 Thursday morning UK time) sees the San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks at the Frost Black Center.
All eyes will be on thee Spurs, as they begin the Victor Wembanyama era, after the talented Frenchman was selected as the #1 pick in the draft earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the Mavs re-signed guard Kyrie Irving to a three-year extension and managed to keep the core of the team together around Luka Doncic as they aim to make a deep playoff run this season.
The NBA world will be watching Victor Wembanyama make his official debut for the Spurs, and although he won’t turn the franchise around immediately, they have nowhere to go but up.
The Spurs haven’t really added anyone else of note to go alongside ‘Wemby’, so it remains to be seen how far the Frenchman can take his team.
As mentioned, Kyrie Irving has pledged his immediate future to the Mavericks after signing an extension and with Luka Doncic starting the season healthy, this team will want a lot better results than last season brought.
Seth Curry was brought back for his third stint with the team so he can take some of the offensive burden away from Irving and Doncic, while Grant Williams and Dante Exum have been brought in to shore up the defense.
Dallas Mavericks (-3.5) @ 10/11
For as much hype as Victor Wembanyama is deservedly getting, the Spurs are more than just one basketball player.
As I’ve alluded to above, outside of his arrival, there weren’t enough high-impact additions to this team so I’m not sure what their ceiling will be this season.
While Dallas are far from perfect, they’re a team that can score on anybody, with two relentless scorers in Irving and Doncic.
The Mavs have won seven of the last eight meetings (four straight in San Antonio) so I’m taking them on the spread here.
Over 229.5 points @ 10/11
With the offensive firepower on display here, this match could be one filled with points.
Both teams will want to put on a spectacle – Wembanyama will be eager to impress on his official debut, while Mavs fans haven’t seen too much of Irving and Doncic as a duo, mainly due to injuries.
Even with a losing record, the Mavs finished sixth in offensive rating last season, which demonstrates the kind of numbers that they can put up.