Dereck Lively Injury Update Avoids the Worst for Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks get an optimistic update about Lively's injury.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Despite another impressive win from Dallas over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Mavs fans have been holding their breath ever since Dereck Lively went down in the second quarter with an apparent head and neck injury.

After taking an inadvertent shot to the head from Karl-Anthony Towns' knee, Lively left the court holding the back of his head and was ruled out due to a reported neck sprain. On Monday morning, we finally got an update about his status.

Mavs News: Lively Status Uncertain For Game 4

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the scans to evaluate the severity of Lively's sprained neck returned OK. He added that his availability for Game 4 is still up in the air.

This is good news for Lively and the Mavericks. The injury looked scary at the moment and raised concerns about a potential concussion. All the reporting, however, suggests that the rookie center is not in the NBA's concussion protocol at this point.

The Mavericks being up 3-0 is especially important as it can give them more leeway to rest Lively. Since the NBA Finals don't start until June 6, this can give Lively enough of a rest to fully heal from his injury.

Dallas will certainly need Lively for the rest of the playoffs. How much they need him was made obvious on Sunday night as they struggled with rim protection defensively and in the pick-and-roll offense without him.

Dwight Powell took the majority of Lively's minutes for the rest of the game but at this stage of his career, he is not the same caliber of player Lively is on either end of the floor.

Dereck Lively has been one of the biggest surprise players in the NBA Playoffs this season. He has been incredibly efficient, shooting over 65 percent from the field, averaging 8.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 21.5 minutes per game.

Despite Lively's potential absence, the Mavericks are -146 favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook to win Game 4 on Tuesday night.

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