“SEE YOU IN THE A” is what Trae Young said to Reggie Bullock after the game last year. Atlanta won the next three games. And now the Hawks are home to open the 2021-22 season against the Mavericks in a battle of two players who will forever be compared.
Trae and Luka Doncic were traded for one another during the 2018 draft, so the comparisons will likely not stop coming.
For Luka and Dallas, there is a little pressure to win this season. He got his money, and the team also has a new head coach in Jason Kidd. The franchise has not won a playoff series since beating Miami in the 2011 Finals (with Kidd starting at PG). It’s been a while, though there was very little player movement. Let’s see how they perform.
As for the Hawks, the offseason was perfect. They paid Kevin Huerter and John Collins. They re-signed Trae Young to a max deal. And they extended Clint Capela for two more seasons as well to keep the band around. They will be healthy, with the exception of Onyeka Okongwu, to begin the campaign, and they are ready to compete.
Both of these teams are expected to make runs into the second and maybe third round of the postseason this time around.
Betting Odds & Lines
The spread for the game is set at ATL -2.5. The over/under is 225.5 points. The ATL moneyline is -143, while the DAL line is +120.
Mavs Seek Quick Start
This is going to be a make-or-break year for the Mavs. Yes, they have a new coach now, and Luka is extended for the foreseeable future. But, if things do not go well, they will have to retool and find a way to trade Kristaps Porzingis. Perhaps find a franchise big man to help anchor things. Unless they think Moses Brown is that guy.
They brought in Brown and Reggie Bullock, along with Sterling Brown. Those are not moves that can take the team to another level. So, we’ll have to see exactly what they envisioned. They are not in a position to settle into the roster they currently possess.
Luka will be ready to put on a show, though.
Hawks Looking for 1-0 Beginning
After falling just two wins shy of the NBA Finals last year, the Hawks now know what it takes. And considering how good Cam Reddish looked upon his return, they will be just fine. They did also beat #1 Philly without DeAndre Hunter logging a single second on the court.
Between Trae, Collins, and Capela, the core three guys are great. Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic were tremendous in the big games. Not to mention Huerter and Hunter, and Reddish. They drafted well and also added some depth in the form of Gorgui Dieng and Delon Wright.
For this year to be successful, making it back to at least round two has to happen for ATL. They could be a top-four team. They could also somehow fall to the play-in. But just do one thing if this is your favorite squad. BELIEVE.
Hawks Start with the Win
The game will be close, but Dallas will ultimately lose to Atlanta.
- ATL -2.5
- Over 225.5
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