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The Hawks and Mavericks square off in a game everyone has circled since October

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Young and Luka Doncic are inextricably linked and Feb. 1 was supposed to be the first of two match-ups between the two second-year stars during the 2019-20 season. However, Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis missed the game in Dallas with injury and, on the side of the Atlanta Hawks, the available roster was highly depleted by the fourth quarter, including early exits for Young and Cam Reddish. While that was unfortunate from the perspective of having real buzz for the match-up, the upcoming game on Saturday, Feb. 22 does bring the hype of a Young-Doncic clash.

The Mavericks visit the Hawks at State Farm Arena in the final battle between the two teams and, with Doncic rejoining Dallas before the All-Star break, both stars are expected to suit up. On its own, that match-up is riveting, with both reaching their first All-Star Game in 2020 and earning starting nods to boot. Much of the attention will be on the individual face-off — for understandable reasons — but the game is also interesting beyond that, with Atlanta attempting to slow down the NBA’s best offense.

The Hawks are still without Clint Capela (and Skal Labissiere), meaning the full roster overhaul hasn’t quite taken shape. Still, Atlanta is in much better shape than they were earlier in the season and, in short, Lloyd Pierce’s team will need the firepower to combat the Mavericks’ explosiveness. The home team should find optimism on the offensive end, though, with Dallas sometimes struggling and Young always capable of an explosion, as evidenced by his 50-point barrage in Atlanta’s first game after the break.

More than anything, the stage is set for what should be an interesting match-up and, because the game arrives on a weekend, the atmosphere in the building should be even better. Fun should be had by all.

On Saturday night, the Hawks and Mavericks tip off at 7:30 pm ET at State Farm Arena, and the game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Southeast. If you’d like to buy tickets to the game against Miami, you can do so from StubHub here.

Stay tuned.

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