Game 26 Preview: Mavs vs. Hawks

This is the redemption game for the awful, horrible, depressing loss that the Mavs experienced in Atlanta early this season when they were up by up by 26 and lost by 7.  Mavs and Hawks tipoff tonight at 7:30 pm CT at the American Airlines Center as the Mavs go for their 11th straight home victory.  For the first time all season, Dirk Nowitzki is not listed as OUT on the injury report and has been updated to Questionable.

Matchup Summary:

The Mavericks are one of the hottest teams in the league and Hawks are one of the coldest.  Atlanta is bad on offense, bad on defense, and they turn the ball over the most in the NBA.

The one this that worries me is that the Hawks play the fastest pace in the league, averaging 105.5 possessions per game.  Then run up and down the floor and throw up 35 threes a night.  The reason this worries me is because the Mavs have shown to struggle against running teams this season.  The New Orleans Pelicans who put up 132 on the Mavs a week ago today, are 4th in the league in pace.  Then there are the Lakers, 5th in the league in pace, who ran us out of the gym the week before that.  Now, I understand that the Pelicans and Lakers have MVP candidates and the Hawks do not, but these teams had more breakaway layups and points in the paint than I would like to remember.

This will mark the second matchup between Rookies Luka Doncic and Trae Young who will forever be linked together after the draft day trade in which the Mavericks moved up in the draft, giving up their #5 pick and next years first round pick, to draft Luka Doncic.  HalleLuka!  Although Doncic has proven to be the more effective player thus far in their first season, Trae Young has already had some All-Star level moments as well.  Including his 35 point, 11 assist performance against Cleveland and his 25 point, 17 assist game against the Clippers.  Young has shot terribly so far this season, 37% from the field including 24% from 3-point range, but when he does have his shot falling he is dangerous.  Without Dennis Smith Jr to hound Young on defense it will be up to Wes Matthews, Jalen Brunson, JJ, and Devin to make sure he doesn’t gather any momentum.  If you want to read more about Luka’s and Trae’s performance so far this season, check out our December update of the Rookie Ranks for stats, videos, and analysis on all the top Rookies.

 

We have seen what happens when you sleep on this Hawks team.  The reason this time will be different is because now we are at home and the Mavs play a different kind of defense in front of the MFFLs.  Similar to the Orlando game on Monday, I am looking for the Mavs to come out and take care of business right from the tip.

Dallas Mavericks Atlanta Hawks
Record  14-11  6-20
Last 10 Games  7-3  3-7
Position 7th in West 13th in East
PPG 110.1 (15th) 107.9 (23rd)
Offensive Rtg 110 (15th) 102.3 (29th)
Points Allowed 108 (9th) 118.2 (30th)
Defensive Rtg 107.9 (10th) 112.1 (23rd)
Pace 99.7 (15th) 105.5 (1st)
FG % 46% (13th) 44.2% (26th)
3p % 35.4% (14th) 31.6% (30th)
FT % 75.2% (19th) 74.1% (23rd)
RPG 45.6 43.8
APG 23.0 24.8
TO 15.7 17.8

Projected Starters:

With Dennis Smith Jr missing another game with his injured wrist, it will be a great Rookie matchup between 2018 NCAA Player of the Year Jalen Brunson vs #5 overall Pick Trae Young.

Dallas Mavericks PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG Luka Doncic 17.8 6.7 4.3 1.1 0.3
SG Wesley Matthews 15.5 2.6 2.4 0.8 0.2
SF Harrison Barnes 17.7 4.5 1.3 0.8 0.3
PF Dirk Nowitzki
C DeAndre Jordan 11 13.6 2.2 0.7 1
Atlanta Hawks PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG Trae Young 15.4 2.8 7.2 0.7 0.3
SG Kevin Huerter 6.2 3.3 2.2 0.7 0.4
SF Kent Bazemore 12.6 4 2.3 1.7 1
PF John Collins 18.1 8.3 2.6 0.1 0.5
C Dewayne Dedmon 7.7 6.9 1 1.2 1.2

 

Injury Report:

Player Team Description
Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks Out (Foot)
Dennis Smith Jr Dallas Mavericks Out (Wrist)
Maxi Kleber Dallas Mavericks Probable (Toe)
Jeremy Lin Atlanta Hawks Day to Day (Back)
Miles Plumlee Atlanta Hawks Out (Knee)
Alex Pythress Atlanta Hawks Day to Day (Ankle)
Omari Spellman Atlanta Hawks Day to Day (Hip)
Taurean Prince Atlanta Hawks Out (Ankle)

 

Betting Line:

The Dallas Mavericks are favored by 9 points with an over/under of 223.

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