Growing concern for Golden State Warriors' forward ahead of pivotal matchup

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Every game is pivotal for the Golden State Warriors at this point of the season, yet Tuesday's matchup with the Dallas Mavericks presents as a far sterner test for the franchise than their last two outings.

The Warriors concluded an impressive five-game road-trip with wins in Charlotte and San Antonio -- two meetings in which they entered as heavy favorites. The Mavericks, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of fish, having won their last seven games and 11 of the past 12.

Jonathan Kuminga remains in question for Tuesday's game as concern grows on a knee issue for the Golden State Warriors' forward

After missing the final three games of the road-trip, Golden State forward Jonathan Kuminga is questionable to face Dallas due to knee tendinitis. In what was viewed as a minor issue when he initially missed last Wednesday's game in Orlando, Kuminga's growing absence is proving a cause for concern as the franchise desperately tries to hold onto a Play-In Tournament spot.

The Warriors may have gone 3-0 without Kuminga over the past week, but the 21-year-old's absence may be most felt against the Mavericks should he miss. Dallas are sixth in offense this season, with Kuminga's length and athleticism not only useful in helping to limit Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but also in exploiting a 21st-ranked defense on the other end.

Veteran guard Klay Thompson is probable with his own knee tendinitis, having missed Friday's win over the Hornets before returning with 13 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Spurs on Sunday.

Golden State's tactics against the backcourt combination of Doncic and Irving will be fascinating -- Steve Kerr has started big in Kuminga's absence by electing for Trayce Jackson-Davis at the five, but that could give Dallas' dynamic duo a matchup to try and switch onto and exploit.

Draymond Green was incredible against the Spurs, leading the Warriors to victory with 21 points, six rebounds, 11 assists and a season-high six steals. The 34-year-old will again be crucial in his team's chances, while Andrew Wiggins will have to respond under the weight of huge responsibility particularly on the defensive end.

Rookie center Dereck Lively II is questionable for the Mavericks, with key rotation member Josh Green remaining out with an ankle injury. Dallas are currently fifth in the Western Conference, yet still sit just 1.5 games ahead of the Play-In seedings.

The Warriors hold a two-game advantage over the Rockets for the tenth-seed, with Houston visiting Minnesota for a matchup with the third-seed Timberwolves at Target Center earlier on Tuesday.