The Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks will forever be tied together for their roles in the 2018 NBA Draft. Dallas traded the No. 5 overall pick (Trae Young) and next year’s first-round pick to Atlanta for the rights to Luka Doncic. Young and Doncic have been by far the two best players to come out of that draft (they are the only two players to either be selected as All-Stars or chosen to be on the All-NBA Team after five years), but Doncic has the potential to be an all-time great. Doncic is one of the favorites to be named NBA MVP per the current NBA futures odds, and he will look to lead his team past Young and the Hawks in mid-week action.
This will be the first of two games between the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks this season. The Metroplex will be the host for this tilt that will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Preview
If the season ended today, the Dallas Mavericks would be the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. Dallas has been excellent at home with a 16-6 mark in the American Airlines Center, but they are just 8-15 away from home.
Luka Doncic has been sensational no matter where he is playing though. Doncic is having a phenomenal year, leading the NBA in scoring with 33.8 PPG while making 49.8% of his field goals. He is a triple-double threat on a nightly basis with 9.0 RPG and 8.8 APG to go with his shooting touch, and he is also leading the Mavericks with 1.6 SPG. His all-around play has been something to behold, but Dallas is in desperate need of a second banana that can take some of the pressure off his shoulders.
Christian Wood is the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the team, averaging 18.3 PPG and 8.4 RPG. Wood has been seeing a lot of open looks alongside Doncic, and he is sinking 53.5% of his field goals and 38.3% of his threes. He is showing that he can get it done on a team that’s not a bottom dweller, and he will have something to prove in the playoffs.
Wood isn’t the only player with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder either as Spencer Dinwiddie has found a home in Dallas. Dinwiddie was underappreciated in Brooklyn and Washington, but he has carved out a niche for himself in the Big D after Jalen Brunson left in free agency. After struggling from beyond the arc for most of his career (Dinwiddie is still a career 33.4% three-point shooter), he has made 40.5% of his triples since arriving in Dallas at the trade deadline last season.
Speaking of the trade deadline, Atlanta has a decision to make. The Hawks are 22-22 and going nowhere fast, so it might just be time for this team to trade away John Collins. The 25-year-old out of Wake Forest is in the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract. Collins is currently just the fifth-leading scorer (13.1 PPG) on the Hawks despite playing 31.1 MPG, and he is only averaging 7.8 RPG.
The front office is reportedly also considering starting from scratch by trading away Trae Young. Although Young is the most talented player on the roster and a fan favorite, he has been a liability on defense throughout his career. Young is averaging 27.4 PPG and 9.8 APG, but he hasn’t been a very efficient shooter this season. He is making just 42.4% of his field goals and 33% of his threes. It would be interesting to see what the Hawks could get for him because he is 24, and there would be no shortage of suitors at this point in his career.
Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Prediction
We have seen Atlanta won three straight games to get back to .500, but the Hawks might be primed to fall apart soon. Meanwhile, Dallas might be ready to turn it on in the second half of the season. The Mavericks should be able to cover the number per the NBA betting odds on Wednesday night.