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Preview: Hawks set to host Mavericks in season opener

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Atlanta Hawks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks will face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday evening in what will be the first game of the new NBA season for both sides. Trae Young and Luka Doncic will face off yet again, as the two are always linked after being traded for one another during the 2018 NBA Draft.

Each player has obviously went on to have great success with the franchise that traded for them, as Doncic has put up near MVP numbers since entering the league, while Young’s numbers aren’t to shabby either. Young was the first of the two to win a playoff series, as a strong Hawks team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21.

Atlanta will look to find their form early in the season against a tough Dallas team, with hopes of another deep postseason run down the line in a few months. The Hawks will no longer catch teams off guard, as their 2021 postseason push put them firmly on the map as a team opponents better take seriously.

The Hawks only improved their roster over the offseason with additions like Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will each look to have a healthy third season, while Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela look to continue to prove they are worthy of the substantial contract extensions they received from the Hawks this offseason.

The biggest change for the Mavericks this offseason was at head coach. Longtime Dallas coach Rick Carlisle chose to move on and take the Indiana Pacers head coach job, with Dallas hiring Jason Kidd to replace him.

Injuries

For the Hawks, Jalen Johnson (right ankle soreness) is probable. Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness) and Lou Williams (left hip soreness) are questionable. Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder surgery rehabilitation) is out.

Dallas does not have any players on NBA contracts listed on their injury report heading into Thursday’s game, though both players they have signed to Two-Way contracts are listed as out for the season opener.

The Line

Atlanta sits as a 2.5-point favorite over the Mavericks as of early Thursday morning.

Game Info

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: TNT

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Streaming: Watch TNT