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Dallas Mavericks Regular Season Debut: Can Luka Doncic Top Trae Young?

Mavs look to win their first game of the regular season in Atlanta vs. Trae Young.

The Dallas Mavericks officially tip off their 2021-22 regular season in Atlanta against the Hawks tonight. The Mavs' 1st-of-82 games will be a showdown between two of the youngest and brightest stars, who have been intertwined since joining the league, Dallas guard Luka Doncic and Hawks guard Trae Young, 

Doncic and Young were traded for one another on the night of the 2018 NBA Draft and constantly compared ever since. Both stars, who were recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated together, will be rearing to get a win over the other to start the new campaign right. 

Optimism for the Mavs this season is valid... Doncic is entering his fourth season and has never looked better. Kristaps Porzingis had a fully-healthy offseason and won't begin the season in 'catch-up mode.' The Mavs made major front office changes this offseason, including hiring former Nike executive Nico Harrison as the general manager. Last but not least, the team seems to be responding well to new head coach Jason Kidd's leadership. 

Comparatively, the Hawks are expected to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference after making the conference finals a few months ago. 

INJURY REPORT: For Dallas; full roster is ready/healthy. Only JaQuori McLaughlin and Eugene Omoruyi are ruled out (G League).

For Atlanta; Danilo Gallinari (shoulder soreness) and Lou Williams (left hip soreness) are questionable.

FLASHBACK: The Mavericks swept the 2020-21 season series, 2-0, and have now taken four of the last five meetings

FUN FACT: Former Hawk, Tim Hardaway Jr. plays his best against his former franchise. In 16 career games (10 starts) against Atlanta, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 17.8 points per game – his highest scoring average against any team (according to Mavs PR).

IN THE COMMUNITY: This week, Doncic surprised 80 patients who are admitted at Children’s Health in Dallas and Plano with special gifts to help lift their spirits.

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WHEN: Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. CT

LOCATION: State Farm Arena (Atlanta, GA)

TV/RADIO: TNT, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)

NEXT: The Mavericks' second regular-season game is Oct. 23 against the Toronto Raptors. 

FINAL WORD Kidd on Doncic:

“I love his competitive spirit.I love that he wants to win at all cost. When you have that type of spirit with his skill set, it’s a beautiful thing. But again, it’s to help him with some of the smaller things with the game within the game, and hopefully that leads to us winning a championship.”