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Preview and Game Thread #57: Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game # 57


@ Atlanta-hawks_medium
Philips Arena
February 26th, 2010, 7:00 PM EST
ESPN, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Jason Kidd
PG Mike Bibby
Caron Butler SG Joe Johnson
Shawn Marion SF Marvin Williams
Dirk Nowitzki PF Josh Smith
Brendan Haywood C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None

Mavs Injury Report: Caron Butler is a game time decision, Erick Dampier is out, and Tim Thomas is out with family issues.

Blogging With the Enemy: Mavs Moneyball

Predicted bane of the Hawks' existence: Jason Terry. I am pretty sure he still thinks Atlanta is his house.

Game Preview:

Considering the Mavs are still adjusting to the big trade, on the road, and the Hawks beat them in Dallas playing poorly, I should be more confident about this game. I should expect a win considering all that. Throw in the fact that Caron Butler cannot chew straws into submission for the first time in his professional career and we should be on the phone to Vegas.

I have none of these feelings of grandeur. Actually, I feel fairly pessimistic about this team. Bad losses take good wins to get over. In the grand scheme of things, one win or one loss does not matter in the standing or with fans, but one loss or one win can turn the tide of perspective pretty dang easily. No one stopped being a fan after the Warriors game and no one started following the Hawks seriously after one of the Boston wins. Still, there are certain contests that can define or redefine the perspective for a while. Tonight is one of those nights.

Keys to the game:

  1. Keep Haywood off the boards.The Hawks overcame horrible shooting in Dallas by dominating the glass.
  2. Joe Johnson with an efficient 20 plus points and more than 5 assists. The offense will run through Joe. It always runs through Joe, but tonight it should too. Joe needs to know when to shoot and when to pass.
  3. Attack the basket, hit your free throws.
  4. Dirk is good because he can always get easy shots. Jason Terry is good because upon getting easy shots, he hits hard ones. Moral of the story, it is more important to worry about Jason Terry getting easy shots.

Go Hawks!