The Dallas Mavericks got back on track on Monday night with a victory in Denver, but their floor general Deron Williams was still missing in action.
D-Will missed his third straight game with what the team has described as a strain to his left groin and abdominal area. No. 8 was sent back to Dallas for tests on the injury Friday and missed the team’s losses to the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings over the weekend. The Mavs managed to get one back by defeating the Nuggets 97-88 on Monday, and now have just eight games remaining in their regular season slate. Still the timetable for Deron’s return remains uncertain.
“He has a strain of the left groin and abdominal area, and so right now we’re going to try to get him feeling better,” Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s no timetable. We hope it’s not serious, but it’s uncertain because of the nature of the injury.”
Fortunately, the Mavericks are deep in the backcourt and while Deron heals, JJ Barea, Raymond Felton and Devin Harris are expected to step up in his absence. Still Dallas is hoping to get D-Will, their lead point guard back as soon as possible.
The team is already dealing with the loss of one of their starters for the rest of the season. Forward Chandler Parsons will miss the remainder of the season, as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
The Mavs currently sit in a tie with the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, but Houston holds the tiebreaker, meaning Dallas will have to jump ahead of them to earn a spot in the postseason. Getting D-Will back for the final stretch of the season would certainly boost their chances, but coach Rick Carlisle stated there’s no guarantee that happens.
“I would like to be optimistic and tell you that I think he’s going to be back soon, but I don’t know that to be the case,” he said. “We hope that it’s not serious. That’s very vague, but that’s the truth, and that’s all I know.”
The Mavs are back home for a brief stay ahead of a meeting with the New York Knicks at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest.
After Wednesday’s game, Dallas heads back out on the road, heading north for a pair of meetings with the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves over the weekend. Then comes a critical stretch of five games against fellow Western Conference playoff contenders, including meetings with both the Rockets (Apr. 6 in Dallas) and the Utah Jazz (Apr. 11 in Salt Lake City).
WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS – 3/29
1. y – Golden State Warriors (66-7)
2. y – San Antonio Spurs (62-12) 4.5 GB
3. y – Oklahoma City Thunder (52-22) 14.5 GB
4. x – Los Angeles Clippers (46-27) 20 GB
5. Memphis Grizzlies (41-33) 25.5 GB
6. Portland Trail Blazers (39-36) 28 GB
7. Utah Jazz (37-37) 29.5 GB
t-8. Houston Rockets (36-38) 30.5 GB
t-8. Dallas Mavericks (36-38) 30.5 GB
y – Clinched division
x – Clinched playoff berth