The highlight of Your Dallas Mavericks’ long-anticipated opening day came well before tip-off, as Mark Cuban’s defending champs decorated the inside of the American Airlines Center with the championship banner. What happened after that erased all the pent-up goodwill: The Miami Heat, humiliated but a few months ago, humbled the new-look Mavs. By the third quarter, when Miami was up by 32, Dallas’s lone defender was a drunken Santa in the stands, who did more to hassle LeBron James than any Maverick. Tyson Chandler, you will be missed; you too, J.J. It’s to be expected, of course: a new line-up (oh, Lamar, kicked out already?), a locked-out preseason, a year of questions following last season’s the-time-is-now expectation. But there’s not much time to work out the kinks; it’s almost back-to-back-to-back from here on out, the Heat then the Nuggets and now the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Speaking of: Is it setting or rising on this aging squad? Too soon to tell, but time’s already ticking away. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Visit nba.com/mavericks for tickets and information.
Wed., Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m., 2012