NBA FINALS UPDATE: Mavericks Dereck Lively II Not Just Your Ordinary Rookie

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Dereck Lively II has been an indispensable asset to the Mavericks’ success, demonstrating a rare blend of agility and explosiveness at 7 feet 1 inch with a near 7 feet 8 inches wingspan. His exceptional coachability, communication, and mentality have set him apart, enabling him to make significant contributions even without plays being called for him.

Throughout the season, he maintained an average of 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 23.5 minutes per game in 55 games (42 starts). Lively II's stellar performance earned him a well-deserved spot on the All-Rookie Second-Team. In the playoffs, he has continued to shine, averaging 8.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 16 games, making him historically good for the Mavericks with a plus-minus of +106 in 14 games, which is second all-time in postseason plus-minus by a rookie.

Reflecting on his first year as a Dallas Maverick, Lively II emphasized the importance of perseverance and unity, stating, “My way is the hardest way. We're not going to take the easy way out. We just need to huddle together as a family, lean on each other, and find strength in our unity.” His resilience and team spirit have undoubtedly been instrumental to the Mavericks' success.

Head Coach Jason Kidd said earlier this NBA season that Lively II could have a successful career of 15-20 years in the NBA.

In conclusion, Dereck Lively II’s exceptional performance, especially as a rookie, has played a pivotal role in the Mavericks’ journey to the NBA Finals.