NEW YORK – The Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks are tipping off a basketball game today at a time when mostKidd people are just dragging themselves out of bed and scrambling a pan full of eggs.

The Mavs-Knicks game tips off at 11:30 a.m. Why such an early tipoff?

It’s because it’s double-header day today at Madison Square Garden. While the Mavs-Knicks game starts at 12:30 p.m. ET at MSG, the MSG crew will quickly pull up the court so the New York Rangers can play host to the Chicago Blackhawks in a National Hockey League game.

To put it bluntly, the early start doesn’t bother coach Jason Kidd. Why not?

“I don’t have to play,” Kidd said. “But as a player I hated the early starts.

“But as coach, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Today’s game will be the first time ex-Mavs guard Jalen Brunson plays against his former team since signing a four-year, $104 million free agent contract with the Knicks this past summer. Brunson, who spent his first four NBA seasons with the Mavs, is well loved by the Mavs players and coaching staff, so it’ll be interesting to see how that love plays out on the court.

*The Mavs have five former Knicks on their roster. They include Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Kemba Walker, Frank Ntilikina and Theo Pinson.

Luka*Plano native Julius Randle is one of the Knicks’ best players. Randle, who has been with the Knicks since 2019 is averaging 21.1 points and 8.6 rebounds, and played well enough to make the 2021 All-Star game.

*This is the finale of a short two-game road trip for the Mavs. The trip started with Thursday’s 131-125 upset loss to the Detroit Pistons in a game Luka Doncic finished with 35 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Also in that game, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 26 points on 6-of-14 shooting from three-point range, and Christian Wood added 25 points on 10-of-13 shots.

*Something undoubtedly has to give today because of what has transpired between the Mavs and Knicks. The Mavs have dropped five of their last six games, while the Knicks have lost five of their past seven games.

*The Mavs are just 1-8 on the road this season and have lost their last six games away from American Airlines Center. But maybe a little synergy is working in the Mavs’ favor this time around. That’s because the Mavs’ lone road win came up in the street in New York during a 129-125 overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 29.

*The Knicks last played on Wednesday when they lost at home to the Milwaukee Bucks, 109-103. R.J. Barrett led the Knicks with 26 points, and Mitchell Robinson added 15 points and 20 rebounds. Robinson had an incredible 11 offensive rebounds in that game.


When: 11:30 a.m., Saturday

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

TV: Bally Sports Southwest

Radio: 97.1 FM The Freak; 99.1 FM Zona MX (Spanish)

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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