Impact of Rookie Derek Lively II on Mavs’ Finals Journey

Dallas has had a great season thanks to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, new players like Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington, and rookie Dereck Lively II.

Dereck is 7-foot-1 and made the All-Rookie second team. He averaged 8.8 points on 74.7% shooting, with 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game this season.

Team Leaders Love Dereck

Doncic finds Lively to be a perfect fit for the team because he’s energetic and protects the rim well.

> “Dereck Lively—20 year old rookie center who many assumed would not be able to produce right away. Instead, he’s one of the best players on a Finals team…”

General Manager Nico Harrison praised their partnership: “I mean, he’s exactly what you would want Luka to have,” Harrison said about their relationship.

Doncic has been praising him since day one but especially noted his impact during the playoffs after Lively’s performance in Game 6 against the Thunder.

Lively’s Dream Team

Lively always wanted to play with stars like Luka and Kyrie in Dallas. He told reporters that joining Dallas was his top choice because he knew he’d make an impact there.

“When I looked at the draft, this is the spot where I wanted to be because I knew if I came here, I was going to make an impact,” Lively said.

We think it’s amazing how some rookies can shine so brightly right from their first season!

Luka Knew Right Away

While everyone was focused on Victor Wembanyama’s debut season, other rookies like Dereck also made big impacts on their teams.

Coach Jason Kidd shared that Luka quickly realized how well they could work together when they met in September: “It started in September when they met.”

Kidd added that trust between them grew from Day 1: “There was trust on Day 1… it will only get better.”

On Opening Night against San Antonio, while all eyes were on Wembanyama, it was Lively who stole the show by scoring 16 points with nearly perfect shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds!

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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