Mavericks Notes: Lively, Doncic, First Round Matchup

Rookie center Dereck Lively II could miss the remainder of the regular season due to a right knee injury, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News and other media members.

“It could be two weeks where he could be out, but we’ll see how he feels,” the Mavs’ coach said. “We’ll take it day by day, but hopefully he’s back sooner than later.”

General manager Nico Harrison told Townsend that no diagnosis will be determined until the team returns on Wednesday to Dallas, when Lively will be examined. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 55 games.

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Luka Doncic reached the 65-game criteria for postseason honors 0n Sunday, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link). The MVP candidate will reach the super-max criteria when he undoubtedly earns All-NBA honors. Doncic will be eligible during the 2025 offseason to sign a five-year, super-max extension with the Mavericks that would be worth a projected $346MM, per Marks, making it the most lucrative deal in NBA history.
  • Doncic believes the officials are allowing more contact since the All-Star break but that’s not such a bad thing, he told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “They changed the officiating for sure. It’s definitely harder,” he said. “They let much more contact go, but I like it because we can play defense.”
  • The Timberwolves would be the Mavs’ most favorable matchup in the first round of the playoffs, Tim Cato of The Athletic opines. That’s partially due to Karl-Anthony Towns’ knee injury but also because Dallas has optionality: The Mavs can match Minnesota’s size or can force Rudy Gobert out to the 3-point line with smaller lineups. Cato also addresses the potential postseason rotation in his mailbag column.
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