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3 things to watch as the Mavericks challenge the Hawks in Atlanta

The Mavs look to avenge their season-opening loss to the Hawks.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (9-24) take on the Atlanta Hawks (7-25) on the road tonight. The last time the Mavs met the Hawks, it was on opening night as they lost on their home floor, 117-111. In what will most likely be the last matchup between these two teams this season (unless we have an unprecedented Dallas/Atlanta NBA Finals), the Mavericks will look to pay the Hawks back by stealing a win on the road.

Here are three things to watch for tonight.

Dennis Smith Jr. double-double watch

Despite losing to the Hawks, opening night left us with some pretty memorable moments. In case you forgot, this is how we started off the season.

Smith Jr. went on to notch a double-double in his first ever NBA game, scoring 16 points to go along with his 10 assists. It would be nice to see similar production from him this time around, especially considering that Dennis Schroder may not be playing in this game due to an injury.

Battle of the tanks

I don’t really believe the Mavs are trying to lose on purpose, but because these two teams have horrible records, the headline seemed fitting. In regards to the “tank race,” the Hawks are on pace to get a high pick in the 2018 NBA draft, as they are currently the worst team in the league. That being said, the Mavs aren’t too far behind (ahead?) of them. So, may the best (worst?) team win (lose?)! This is confusing. Here are some DeAndre Ayton highlights for you. You’re welcome.

Mavericks need a pick-me-up going into the holidays

Disregarding all that tank talk, the Mavs really could use a win to help their spirits as Christmas approaches us on Monday. To no surprise, the Mavericks will not be one of the teams featured in the much anticipated NBA Christmas Day games. After this game against the Hawks, the Mavs won’t take the court again until the day after Christmas, when they take on a very good Toronto Raptors team at home. Hey, maybe Santa can bring the Mavs a five-game win streak heading into the new year. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to have to start in Atlanta tonight.

How to watch

The Mavs and Hawks tip off at 6:30 p.m. Central time. The game can be watched on FSSW and NBA League Pass.