Mavericks vs. Hawks NBA Preview and Best Bet

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Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP.

The Dallas Mavericks head to Atlanta to take on the upstart Hawks. When factoring in NBA odds, which team is the right NBA pick?

Dallas Mavericks vs. Atlanta Hawks

Thursday, October 21, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at State Farm Arena

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks burst onto the scene as contenders last season. The Hawks went all-in in their offseason moves in 2020. They paid off as Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari provided an extra shooting burst next to Atlanta superstar Trae Young. The Hawks still are dependent on Young and their results usually match Young's performance.

With these additions and the development of young talents such as DeAndre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, John Collins, and Clint Capela, the Hawks are now potent when Trae Young is off the floor, a serious issue before last season.

The Hawks return mostly the same team to build on their momentum. Two smart additions in Delon Wright and Sharife Cooper should help the Hawks in the minutes when Young is off the floor.

Delon Wright is a capable backup point guard that can definitely run the offense. Sharife Cooper is a scorer who can provide a scoring burst during these bench minutes as well. With the veteran leadership and traditional point guard play of Wright, mixed with the scoring potential of Cooper. Hawks coach, Nate McMillan, has two strong options when Young is on the bench.

Before these additions, the Hawks' offense would completely sputter without Young. Now they are capable of keeping pace even when Young grabs his rest. The Hawks are a developing team with another year of experience, including some playoff success to build on. The Hawks are on the brink of being a truly elite Eastern Conference team.

Clint Capela remains key for this team. His defense and rim protection make every Hawks perimeter defender look better. Capella's rim running ability also fits in well with Young. He is frequently the target of a beautifully placed lob by his point guard. Barring injuries, there is no reason to believe that the Hawks will not continue to improve this season.

Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks grabs a rebound against P.J. Tucker. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks and the Hawks will be forever linked for in the 2018 Draft Day trade. The Mavericks traded up with the Hawks for the opportunity to draft Luka Doncic, while the Hawks drafted Trae Young. Both teams are pretty happy with their results of the trade so far.

Luka is an MVP candidate but plays in a tougher conference. The Mavericks have struggled to put around the same supporting cast to mesh and gel with the skills of Doncic.

The Mavericks made a gamble by acquiring Kristaps Porzingis and this year will be a big year for him. Porzingis is coming off an ACL injury and oftentimes it takes two years before players really recover from the injury. If Porzingis can return to the form he displayed in New York, particularly as a post player and rim protector, he could be the perfect complement for Luka.

If Porzingis is never able to return to the form that he showed in New York, and remains this limited watered-down version of himself, the Mavericks will need to make a move to provide adequate support for their young superstar.

The Mavericks had a rather quiet offseason acquiring Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. Both players are great defenders and should help the Mavericks in that area of weakness last year. While these moves aren't flashy they definitely strengthen the core of the Mavericks.

Wing players who can defend and shoot threes are at a premium in the NBA and you can never have enough. Give credit to the Mavericks for these two under-the-radar moves that should strengthen the team.

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks tries to get past Reggie Bullock. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP.

The Mavericks have a potential MVP candidate but keep failing to advance out of the first round of the playoffs. They need to make major improvements this year or they will most likely have to move on from this current core that is assembled around Luka Doncic. It's time for the Mavericks to make their move up in the standings or they will be making some moves to replace their current roster.

Key Matchup

DeAndre Hunter vs Luka Doncic. The Hawks suffered a major setback last year with the injury of Hunter. Hunter provided the on-ball perimeter defense needed at the point-of-attack to hide the deficiencies in his high-scoring backcourt mates, Kevin Huerter and Trae Young.

With Hunter at the point-of-attack, the Hawks' defense looks so much stronger. Hunter will be put to the test in this opening night matchup facing one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA.

As mentioned earlier, the Maverick supporting cast can leave a lot to be desired. If you can shut down Luka, you have a great chance of winning the game. So, if Hunter is successfully able to frustrate Luka and get him off his game, the Hawks will have a great chance of opening the season with a victory.

But if Luka has another huge statistical performance and breaks the slate in DFS, it will most likely be the Mavericks who walk away with the win.

Best Bet

While Luka will be the best player on the floor, the Atlanta Hawks have a much stronger team. The Hawks have more shooters and can protect the rim much better. They are deeper as a roster and can beat you in multiple ways with their abundance of sharpshooters.

The Hawks should be eager to start their season with a bang. I believe they get a home-court victory against the Mavericks and cover the short spread. Lay the points, take the Hawks at one of BMR's top-rated sportsbooks.

NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -2.5 (-108) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Atlanta Hawks -2.5 (-108)
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