No one wants to get back in the playoff scene more than David Lee. That’s because he had a grand time the last time he was in the postseason.
But Lee’s playoff appearance this year will have to wait.
He has a partial tear of his plantar fascia tendon in his right heel. The injury will keep the Dallas Mavericks’ backup center out of the first two games of their first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Lee, who helped the Golden State Warriors win last year’s NBA title, suffered his injury in the first half of Wednesday’s 96-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He hopes to be able to play in Game 3 on Thursday when this series shifts to Dallas.
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“I got sidestepped and I just came down with all my weight on my heel awkwardly,” Lee said of his injury. “I knew right when it happened.
“I thought I’d probably maybe just bruised it. But it ended up being a tear.”
Since joining the Mavs on Feb. 22, Lee averaged 8.5 points and seven rebounds in just 17.3 minutes while playing 25 games. Those are valuable numbers the Mavs can definitely use against a Thunder team that’s the finest in the NBA when it comes to rebounds.
“David is key for us rebounding the basketball,’’ point guard Deron Williams said. “Offensively, he’s a great passer, a great finisher.
“Defensively, he’s helped us a lot blocking shots, being a post presence down there. So we’re going to miss D-Lee on both ends of the floor for sure.”
Lee has been receiving constant treatment since the injury occurred, and is anxious to get back on the court and assist his teammates.
“It’s frustrating I can’t initially be a part of it these first couple of games, but like they say, stranger things have happened,’’ Lee said. “Hopefully I can heal up quick and help us later on.
“We’ll see as this series goes on and possibly if we can advance, we’ll see if I’m able to make an impact and come back and play. Obviously our medical staff is great, our training staff, I’ll get treatment and do everything I’m supposed to do.”
Lee’s very first game with the Mavs on Feb. 24 came against Oklahoma City. In that contest he played 15 minutes, scored four points, snatched four rebounds, handed out two assists, produced a steal and was 2-of-3 from the field.
“It hurts (not having Lee), because he can come in and give us an energy boost and obviously a scoring boost,’’ owner Mark Cuban said. “Now that we’re playing longer into the clock, having a guy who knows how to get a shot off and can score is all the more valuable to us.”
Cuban contacted Kobe after 60-point game
Owner Mark Cuban said he contacted Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers superstar finished his career by scoring 60 points this past Wednesday against Utah.
“That was amazing,” Cuban said. “I tweeted to him — you couldn’t score two more points to put us down the list?”
Bryant outscored the Mavs by himself, 62-61, on Dec. 20, 2005 — after just three quarters.
Cuban said: “Now he gets to go into my world to compete with me.’’
Cuban met with commissioner Silver
Owner Mark Cuban had a rather frank conversation with NBA commissioner Adam Silver prior to Game 1.
“My big suggestion for the year was we ought to have better food for the visiting locker room, so he agreed and sent out a memo,’’ Cuban said. “Instead of popcorn and a fruit plate.