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Preview: Hawks aim to continue upward trend in Dallas

Atlanta Hawks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are playing improved basketball of late, posting a 5-4 record in the last nine games. Trae Young and company also put together a strong effort on Thursday in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, with the hope of using that performance as a springboard for the future. The team’s first opportunity to build on that success arrives on Saturday evening, when the Hawks travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks.

While the headline match-up between these two teams would normally be a face-off between Young and Luka Doncic, that battle won’t be taking place this time around. Doncic is battling an ankle injury and will not play for Dallas, leaving the Mavericks without their best player and offensive centerpiece. That (unquestionably) helps the Hawks when it comes to pursuing a victory but, in the same breath, a bit of the peripheral intrigue probably wanes without Doncic in action.

Doncic also isn’t the only injury consideration in play here, with the Mavericks also without Dwight Powell (Achilles) for the remainder of the season. For the Hawks, Alex Len (hip), DeAndre’ Bembry (hand) and Jabari Parker (shoulder) remain sidelined, with De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain) and Bruno Fernando (left calf strain) listed as questionable.

Hunter’s injury seemingly took place in the final seconds of Tuesday’s win and, if he is unable to play, it would be quite difficult for the already short-handed Hawks. For Fernando, the questionable distinction is actually encouraging and Atlanta could use the uptick in center depth.

Partly due to the injury uncertainty, there isn’t a firm point spread available as of Saturday morning. It is a safe bet to assume that the Hawks will enter the night as underdogs on the road, though, and it will be interesting to see how Atlanta responds.

Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 1, 8:30 pm ET

Location: American Airlines Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass