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Mavericks vs. Hawks preview: Atlanta kicks off six-game homestand against Dallas

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Hello, Dirk Nowitzki.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a surprisingly dominant victory in Boston, the Atlanta Hawks return home to begin a six-game homestand on Wednesday evening. While this stretch of action at Philips Arena is littered with difficult match-ups, the Dallas Mavericks arrive to kick things off in what appears to be a favorable spot for Paul Millsap and company.

The Mavs have won back-to-back games but, in general, Dallas has been underwhelming this season. Rick Carlisle’s team will also come to Atlanta without Wesley Matthews, who will miss the game with a hip injury, and the Mavs recently parted ways with both Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams.

Have no fear, Dirk Nowitzki will be in attendance for his annual visit to Atlanta but it must be noted that he isn’t quite the same player at this stage. With that said, the Hawks will undoubtedly prioritize slowing him down over the course of the evening and playing against a Carlisle-led team is always a test for the defense.

On the Atlanta side, Mike Dunleavy remains out with right ankle soreness but the Hawks are otherwise healthy and ready to go. It will be intriguing to see if Taurean Prince receives an extended workload for the third consecutive game, especially with regard to the status of Mike Muscala as (suddenly) a fringe rotation member.

The good folks at FiveThirtyEight assign a 64 percent likelihood of victory for Atlanta, while Las Vegas installs the Hawks as a 5.5-point favorite in the game. While that is hardly a dominant margin, this is a game that the Hawks need to secure in order to maintain optimism for the rest of the homestand and all eyes will be on Philips Arena on Wednesday.

Stay tuned throughout the day for additional updates.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM