Engaged in a heated race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference and already without small forward Chandler Parsons for the remainder of the season due to a torn meniscus, the last thing the scuffling Dallas Mavericks needed was to lose their second leading scorer to injury.
Williams Heading Back To Dallas For Evaluation
Unfortunately for head coach Rick Carlisle, this is exactly what has occurred, as point guard Deron Williams is expected to miss at least the next two games with an abdominal strain after sitting out Friday night's 128-120 pounding at the hands of the league-leading Golden State Warriors.
Just days after becoming the first Mavericks player to account for 30 points and 15 assists in a game since 1995-96 with a fantastic 31-point, 16-assist effort in a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday evening, Williams aggravated the nagging injury in a loss to Portland on Wednesday night, a defeat which set Dallas back in the standings in major fashion.
Injury Comes At Poor Time For Mavs
While Williams heads back to the Lone Star State for an MRI, the Mavericks continue their four-game West Coast road trip with back-to-back games against the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets beginning this afternoon, needing wins to propel themselves into the eighth seed in the conference.
After falling short in nine of their last 11 games, Dallas has relinquished their stranglehold over a postseason spot at 35-37, sitting 0.5 games behind the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz who are currently tied for the seventh seed in the West.
What is more troublesome for the Mavericks is that they will be faced with the fifth-toughest remaining schedule in their final 10 games, including must win games against both Houston and Utah in addition to contests against probable playoff teams such as the Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, and San Antonio Spurs.
After a disappointing season with the Brooklyn Nets in 2014-15, Williams has revamped his career in Dallas, upping his shooting percentage from 39% to a still-underwhelming 41% while posting 14.0 points and 5.8 assists per game.