Dereck Lively's Game 5 Status vs. Timberwolves (May 30)

Mavericks' Dereck Lively II questionable for Game 5.

by Abdullah Magsi
Dereck Lively's Game 5 Status vs. Timberwolves (May 30)
© Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II is listed as questionable for Thursday night's critical matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. As of now, there's no official confirmation on whether the rookie will make his return to the court for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

On Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks were on the brink of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in 13 years. However, their hopes were dashed by a determined Minnesota Timberwolves team, who managed to stave off elimination with a 105-100 victory in Game 4.

This win for the Timberwolves forced the Mavericks into a Game 5 showdown at the Target Center. Despite the setback, the Mavericks still hold a significant advantage in the series. They lead the Timberwolves 3-1 and need just one more victory to secure their spot in the Finals.

It's worth noting that no team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, meaning the Timberwolves face a daunting challenge to make a historic comeback.

Lively's Neck Injury Details

Dereck Lively II was absent from the Mavericks' lineup in Game 4 due to a neck sprain.

The injury occurred during a collision with Karl-Anthony Towns' knee. Lively fell hard to the floor while Towns leaped for a rebound. Following the collision, Lively remained on the ground for several minutes before being escorted off the court by the Mavericks' medical staff.

Initial concerns about a concussion added to the uncertainty surrounding his availability. Lively's return could potentially come as early as Game 5, though it depends on his physical condition and the coaching staff's decision.

If the Mavericks fail to close out the series in Game 5, his return might be postponed to Game 6. Lively has proven to be a valuable asset for the Mavericks, particularly on the defensive end. Throughout the postseason, he's averaged 8.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.

His presence on the court significantly enhances the team's defensive capabilities, and his absence could increase the risk of the Mavericks facing another setback against the Timberwolves. Game 5 presents a crucial opportunity for the Mavericks to clinch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

With Luka Doncic and the rest of the team geared up, the return of Dereck Lively II could be a game-changer. As the series stands, the Mavericks are in a favorable position, but the Timberwolves' resilience cannot be underestimated.

The outcome of Game 5 will be pivotal, determining whether the Mavericks can secure their spot in the Finals or if the Timberwolves will extend the series further. Fans and analysts alike are keenly watching to see if Lively will make his return and contribute to the Mavericks' push for victory.

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