The matchup will pit two underachieving teams against each other, but two sides with extraordinary young talent: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics). Though both teams have struggled for consistency in this season, they are expected to reach the playoffs.
On that note, let's create a combined starting five of the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks for the upcoming matchup.
Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks Prediction: Combined starting 5
The Boston Celtics have won four of their last ten games and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 15-15 record. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks are coming off a win over the Memphis Grizzlies at home in their last outing, thanks to Tim Hardaway's 29-point and Luka Doncic's 21-point performances.
The first matchup this season between the two teams should be a fascinating one, but the Dallas Mavericks will be playing their second game in as many days.
Luka Doncic has played at an MVP level for the 14-15 Dallas Mavericks this season, even though the team has struggled with injuries and the league's health and safety protocol. The Slovenian's form hold the key for the Dallas Mavericks' postseason hopes; Doncic himself will fancy a shot at the NBA MVP award.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are coming off an OT loss at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans after blowing a 24-point lead in the second half.
So further ado, let us have a look at a hypothetical combined starting five comprising of the best players from the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics.
Point Guard - Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka Doncic is arguably the future face of the NBA, and he has certainly shown more than enough to be considered one of the best players in the league already.
In just over two seasons, Doncic his already regarded as one of the superstars as he seeks to continue his upward trajectory.
Despite the Dallas Mavericks' underwhelming season, Doncic has put up fabulous individual numbers. He is averaging 29 points, eight rebounds and nine assists per game with 47/33/79 shooting splits.
Shooting Guard - Tim Hardaway Jr. (Dallas Mavericks)
Tim Hardaway Jr. is a solid piece in Rick Carlisle's Dallas Mavericks. He has been one of those few players that has usually been available to play night in and night out this season.
Hardaway is the team's third-best scorer so far (17 PPG), behind Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. He is one of the greatest shooters in the Dallas Mavericks' roster, both for his high-volume shooting and his efficiency from beyond the arc.
He led the team in scoring in the win over the Grizzlies, producing 29 points and seven threes off the bench.
Forward - Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
Jaylen Brown is having an extraordinary campaign, even if it has not always produced success for Brad Stevens' inconsistent Boston Celtics.
Brown is the team's second-best scorer this season, averaging a career-high 25.5 points per game with a solid 50/41/77 shooting split. He has been efficient in offense and has even evolved as a playmaker.
Jaylen Brown is averaging a career-high four assists per game and 5.5 rebounds per night. He is also the team leader in Player Efficiency Rating (21.7). He leads the Boston Celtics in Win Shares and Offensive Box Plus/Minus too.
Forward - Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Jayson Tatum is a superstar in the league, even though he has not been able to lead the Boston Celtics to a few more wins this campaign. Nevertheless, he is a stellar player who continues to show signs of improvement year on year.
In just his fourth NBA season, Tatum has already been an All-Star and an All-NBA player, a level he is likely to continue in the upcoming years too. He is leading the Boston Celtics in points per game (26) this season.
Moreover, Tatum is averaging career highs in rebounds (7.1) and assists per game (4.6). Tatum has become a good all-around player for the Boston Celtics and is also tied for a team-high in Defensive Rating.
Center - Kristaps Porzingis (Dallas Mavericks)
Kristaps Porzingis has been a game-changer for the Dallas Mavericks. Though he has played in 17 games already, the team has missed him when he has not played.
Porzingis has missed two games since making his season debut back in January, with the Dallas Mavericks losing on both occasions. He was recovering from knee issues at the start of the season and missed the team's first nine games.
Though the Dallas Mavericks have an 8-9 record with Porzingis, he is essential for their dynamic, and Carlisle needs him in his rotation.
The 7' 3" Porzingis is the team's second-best scorer and their best rim-protector. He is averaging 20 points and eight rebounds per game with 47/35/86 shooting splits.
Porzingis missed the Mavericks' most recent game against the Memphis Grizzlies with lower back tightness, and his status is Day-to-Day.