Mavericks suffer heartbreaking tragedy right before NBA Playoffs

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets
Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are rolling ahead of the NBA Playoffs, as the Mavericks were able to reach the 50-win mark after their Wednesday night victory over the Miami Heat. The Mavericks also locked themselves in to the 4-5 matchup in the Western Conference Playoffs last week as well, as the Mavericks will face off against the LA Clippers for the third time in five seasons in the first round of the playoffs.

While the Clippers' offense isn’t humming to the same tune as it was earlier this season, they are going to be an extremely tough matchup for the Mavericks as they have an immense amount of playoff experience and length to throw at the Mavericks’ offense.

Unfortunately, Dallas’ first round matchup against the Clippers isn’t the only challenge that every player on the roster is facing at the moment. Mavericks’ rookie center Dereck Lively II has been battling a knee sprain to try and return to Dallas’ lineup, as Lively II projects to be back before Dallas’ first game of the playoffs in Los Angeles so long as everything goes according to plan.

Dereck Lively II's mother Kathy Drysdale passes away

However, amidst Lively II rehabilitating to try and return to the Mavericks’ lineup, he suffered an immense loss off the court.

Kathy Drysdale, Lively II’s mother, lost a long battle with cancer Friday afternoon ahead of the Mavericks’ game against Detroit. Drysdale was extremely influential in molding Lively II into the young man and player that he has become thus far into his career, and Lively II has emphasized how close him and his mom were ever since the Mavericks drafted him.

Drysdale was always seen around the American Airllines Center, and she was easily Livey II's biggest fan.

Lively II addressed his mother’s health to his teammates before she passed, which speaks to his poise and leadership at the ripe age of 20 years old.

Lively II is surrounded by a great support staff in Dallas but an instance of this nature is extremely daunting for anyone who goes through it, so while it would be completely understandable for Lively II to take some time away from the court, he’s staying dialed in toward the Mavericks’ playoff run.

We at The Smoking Cuban send our condolences to Lively II and the rest of his family as well, as this is an extremely ill-timed tragedy that happened to an amazing woman.

For more on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks ahead of the NBA Playoffs, stay tuned as we’ll have you covered.