Last week was a mixed bag. The Stars defeated the Flyers, then the Devils to build a bona fide winning streak on the road—no small feat given their struggles outside of Dallas, even if our David Castillo warns us not to make too much of this just yet. The Mavericks, on the other hand, lost two of three games plus two of their four best players to injuries. While Kristaps Porzingis will probably be back sooner than later, Tim Hardaway Jr. will probably be out for months. We will miss him. And TCU gave us highs and lows, relinquishing any hope of breaking into the top 25 by getting flattened by Texas to start the week, only to rebound by defeating No. 19 LSU at home on Saturday.
What will the start of February bring around town? Here’s what I’m watching:
Tuesday, 2/1: Stars versus Flames—7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Southwest
The Stars continue to lurk on the fringes of the Western Conference playoff race. As of this morning, they’re on the outside looking: ninth place, albeit with the same point total as eighth-place Calgary. Every game is vital for the Stars at this juncture, but tomorrow night’s is especially crucial. A win could help them carve out a little breathing room at the eight seed.
Friday, 2/4: Mavericks versus Joel Embiid—9:00 p.m., Bally Sports Southwest
Dallas plays the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers, too, including old friend Seth Curry. But Embiid, the current betting favorite to become NBA MVP, has been a one-man army since the new year, averaging 34 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 14 games this month. Can Dallas stop him? Likely not! But Embiid is so delightful that you should tune in to appreciate the destruction either way.
Sunday, 2/6: Dallas Open—Various times through 2/13, Tennis Channel
Big-time tennis is back in town for the first time in a very long time. I’d recommend my recent interview with Highland Park resident John Isner, the current world No. 28 and the event’s host, for more on what to expect from one of just 10 ATP events on U.S. soil this year.