Mavericks vs Hawks: Atlanta Hawks fans will get their first look at high-scoring rookie Trae Young and their newly refurbished State Farm Arena when the Atlanta Hawks host the Dallas Mavericks in their home opener on Wednesday.
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The Hawks (1-2) turned over their roster in a rebuilding effort, centered around Young, the 6-foot-2 guard from Oklahoma. The results have been good so far for Young, who is averaging 23 points and 8.3 rebounds.
The Mavericks (2-1) have won two straight games, with rookie Luka Doncic averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Doncic was drafted by Atlanta in the first round and immediately traded to the Mavs for Young and a 2019 first-round draft pick.
Atlanta veteran Kent Bazemore has been impressed with Young, who had 35 points and 11 assists on Sunday in the 133-111 win over Cleveland.
“Trae is fearless,” Bazemore said. “Even in the practices earlier in the summer, he came in and established himself right away. That’s what you have to respect. A young guy that comes in, he’s not bashful, he’s not shy and who has that kind of talent. I’m proud of him as a teammate.”
Young downplayed any rivalry against Chicago’s Collin Sexton, that team’s 19-year-old first-rounder from Alabama.
“You look forward to playing anybody in your class,” Young said. “You look forward to playing against guys you grew up with. I was looking forward to playing against Collin, but at the same time I look forward to playing against everybody.”
That includes Doncic. The two players will no doubt be compared against each other throughout their careers. Doncic, 19, became the youngest Dallas player to score 20 points when he got 26 in his home debut.
The hottest player for Dallas has been veteran center DeAndre Jordan, who became the team’s first player in 24 years to start a season with three straight double-doubles. He had 18 points and 16 rebounds in Monday’s 115-109 win over Chicago.
“He’s just been sensational,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s giving us a major presence on the inside. You add the personality and attitude that he brings to the game … on a night like tonight (against Chicago), you don’t get over the top without it.”
The game will also mark the home debut for Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce, who was hired when the team and coach Mike Budenholzer had a mutual parting after the 2017-18 season.
The Mavericks have been without forward Harrison Barnes and guard Devin Harris, who both missed Monday’s game against Chicago with hamstring issues. Veteran Dirk Nowitzki is expected to miss at least two more weeks with a foot injury.
The Hawks have been without power forward John Collins and center Dewayne Dedmon, who are dealing with ankle issues. Also sidelined are guard Justin Anderson (leg) and guard Daniel Hamilton (shoulder). Collins isn’t likely to return until mid-November because he has yet to return to the court for work.