Atlanta Hawks: Young-Doncic gets new chapter to open next season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic will forever be linked to one another. Traded for one another on draft night, the success of one will always be used as a measuring stick for the other. Doncic made the postseason in just his second season and questions of whether the Hawks made the right call grew louder.

Coming off of the season they just had, however, it’s hard to argue against their choice. And considering Doncic has yet to make it out of the first round, perhaps the question should be turned back of the Mavericks.

Well, the NBA schedule makers saw fit to begin next season by renewing the “rivalry” as the Hawks will host the Mavs on Oct 21.

Atlanta Hawks fans will get ‘Trae Young-Luka Doncic V’ to start next season

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Young and Doncic have previously gone head-to-head four times. The former won the first matchup, but the latter has won three straight contests. Doncic (25.0/9.3/8.0) has outscored and out-rebounded Young (21.8/3.8/9.8) in the meetings while Young has the advantage in assists.

Dallas took both games last season. But we’ve discussed at length how impacted the Hawks were by injuries.

That record might look a little different with a healthy Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter.

All of these games also came with Lloyd Pierce coaching the Hawks. We all know of their terrific turnaround once Nate McMillan took over.

Dallas didn’t stand pat this offseason though, re-signing Tim Hardaway Jr, signing Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown in free agency, and trading for Moses Brown. They’re also rumored to be interested in Bulls restricted free agent, Lauri Markkanen. He would add another dynamic scorer to an already high-octane group.

But the Hawks can put up points and, with their plethora of wing players, can match up better than most against a Dallas attack that was sixth in three-point attempts per game during the regular season.

Opponents canned their triples against the Hawks at the third-lowest rate in the NBA last season as it was. A lineup featuring Hunter, Cam Reddish, and rookie Jalen Johnson would be a headache for anyone playing positions 2-4.

Doncic’s individual accolades gave him the early advantage. But Young’s team success has, at the very least, pulled them even if not given Young the edge.

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The only problem is we now have to wait two months for the actual game. That we have to wait six weeks for training camp doesn’t really help lessen the anticipation either.