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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 30th (All times Eastern)

Atlanta Hawks (0-0) at Dallas Mavericks (0-0), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks will visit the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night as both teams kick off the 2013-14 NBA season, albeit with several new pieces.

The Hawks were the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference last season under the stewardship of Larry Drew. General Manager Danny Ferry canned Drew and brought in longtime Gregg Popovich disciple Mike Budenholzer to coach the squad.

Also gone was Hawks staple Josh Smith, a longtime fixture in NBA trade talks. Ferry decided to let Smith and his massive talent and versatility, along with his maddening decision-making, bolt to the Detroit Pistons.

To replace Smith, Ferry brought in Paul Millsap, the hard-working, underrated forward formerly of the Utah Jazz. The other big move for the Hawks was matching the Milwaukee Bucks' offer sheet on point guard Jeff Teague, who really emerged as a solid young player last season.

Al Horford is still the team's best player although he's still out of position playing center. NBA veteran Elton Brand was brought in to be the primary big man replacement.

One thing that will challenge the Hawks early in the season is the absence of Lou Williams. The multi-talented Williams is still recovering from surgery to repair his torn ACL and his timetable for return is unknown.

These two squads are familiar with each other. The Hawks closed their preseason versus Dallas one week ago with the Mavs winning in Dallas 98-89.

"It's probably not what either one of us wanted," said Budenholzer. "For our guys who actually got to play, that group was great. The fact that it was against Dallas, maybe I guess could be a positive in a way."

The Mavericks also sport quite a few new faces. Gone are Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman. Replacing them in the starting lineup will be Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert.

Ellis is the biggest fish in the free-agent frenzy, although both the Mavericks and Hawks had oodles of cap space this offseason. Both wanted Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

Both were disappointed.

Ellis' production, not just in Milwaukee last season, but throughout his career, is not questioned. There have been selfishness issues, but Ellis is actually a pretty solid distributor, especially among shooting guards.

Dirk Nowitzki is back and healthy, at least for the start of the campaign. He missed time with a knee injury at the outset of last season, never reclaimed his scoring touch and the Mavs missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

It appeared to wear on head coach Rick Carlisle, although most of his venom appeared directed at Mayo. Ellis and Dalembert might not help his already dwindling head of hair.

"The difference between being where you want to be and not is sometimes fractional," explained Carlisle. "We've just got to stay the course and keep working. I believe in these guys. I mean, we've got enough experience, and we've just got to put it together and do the little things well."

The Hawks won two of their last three in Dallas, but the Mavs have taken four of the last six in the series.

10/30 10:28:46 ET

Other Stories

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL