The NBA on TNT has another mesmerizing double-header on the dockets for basketball fans as a handful of household names meet underneath the nationally televised spotlight. Tune in as the white-hot Brooklyn Nets host the first-place Boston Celtics before the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the Dallas Mavericks to Tinseltown.
Kyrie Irving returns to Boston for another grudge match versus his former ball club and their superstar duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Luka Doncic goes toe-to-toe for another must-see duel with his childhood hero LeBron James. As always, remember to visit DraftKings for the latest odds and all your sports betting needs.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics (6:30 PM CT)
After sputtering out of the gates to a losing record, off-court controversy, and the brutal firing of Steve Nash, the Nets have completely turned their season around. Head Coach Jacque Vaughn has his players committed on both ends, which has resulted in a league-best 25-8 record since he took over the playcalling duties at the beginning of November.
Despite their dramatic course correction, Brooklyn suffered a tremendous hit to their momentum when Kevin Durant hobbled off the floor on Sunday night with an MCL sprain in his right knee. Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton are talented enough to keep them competitive, but the rest of the supporting cast must step up to preserve their positioning.
Like their Atlantic Divison counterpart, the Celtics landed under the media microscope for the wrong reasons. Despite suspending Ime Udoka for the season, Boston has been the best team in the NBA under stand-in skipper Joe Mazzulla, maintaining the two-way dominance that earned them their first NBA Finals appearance in more than a decade a year ago.
Jayson Tatum has become a full-fledged MVP candidate. And with Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Derrick White rounding out perhaps the most versatile starting rotations in basketball, Boston looks like a title favorite. If you factor in Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon coming off the bench, this game has blowout potential written all over it.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks (9:00 PM CT)
The Lakers have gradually clambered back towards the outskirts of the play-in tournament picture since Christmas. Yet an assortment of nicks and bruises to their stars and rotational pieces has meant LeBron James has needed to defy the will of father time on a nightly basis just for them to tread water in the congested Western Conference standings.
King James has averaged 33.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.4 assists while shooting an unbelievable 57.1% from the field across his last 13 games for the Purple and Gold. Regardless, a homecourt victory may not be easy to book, especially with Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV, and Austin Reaves sitting on the sidelines for this marquee midseason matchup.
Luka Doncic is an unmatched heliocentric scoring and facilitating machine capable of picking apart any defender or scheme tossed his way. The 23-year-old guard has recorded 38, 50, 61, 51, 39, and 43 points over the last month, and he is on pace to become the first player in the 77-year history of the NBA to average at least 34-8-8 for an entire season.
Although their generational superstar has ascended to another echelon of excellence, the Mavericks have followed their stunning run to the Western Conference Finals with a mediocre campaign. Injuries to Josh Green, Maxi Kleber, and Dorian Finney-Smith have hindered their progress, but Dallas should have enough in the tank to pull out a win tonight.