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The best since Chandler... The 19-year-old rookie solved Dallas' center woes.

Dallas hit the jackpot in the draft.

The Dallas Mavericks lost 120-126 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season on March 3 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Dallas trailed by 30 points after three quarters, but rallied with a 30-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter. However, Oklahoma City answered right back with a three-pointer from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Despite the comeback, Oklahoma City held on for the win.

Even though Dallas lost, there were positives to take away from the game. Luca Doncic had a triple-double with 36 points, 18 assists, and 15 rebounds, and rookie Derrick Lively II had a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

Lively's performance was particularly impressive. Lively was able to catch Doncic's passes and convert them into points. On the night, Lively made all nine of his attempts from the free throw line for an unbelievable 100 percent shooting percentage. That's pretty impressive considering he's a big man who only plays under the basket. It's a testament to his finishing skills under the basket.

Lively's opponent that day was Chet Holmgren. Holmgren has been dominant this season, with some calling him the No. 1 Rookie of the Year candidate. Lively had a great game against him. He finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks. It's safe to say that Lively won the head-to-head matchup.

For Dallas, Lively is a liability. Dallas has always had a weakness at the center position, going back to the days of Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas' best center was Tyson Chandler. Chandler was the rim protector and perimeter defender that Dallas wanted as Novicki's partner. However, Chandler only played two seasons in Dallas.

Dallas made a big push to find a partner for Nowitzki. They tried to acquire DeAndre Jordan, a former starter for the LA Clippers and one of the best big men in the NBA, but the deal fell through due to Jordan's change of heart.

After the Nowitzki era, the weakness at the center position continued in the Doncic era. The team acquired Kristaps Porzingis in a trade, but he was far from being a rim protector.

This is where Lively comes in. Lively rose to prominence during the 2022-2023 season at Duke University. In college, the consensus was that Lively had a lot of potential but wasn't an immediate force to be reckoned with. He was a young player, born in 2004, with overwhelming size and a clunky technique.

But these concerns were unfounded. He quickly proved his worth in the NBA. In the 2023-2024 season, he's averaging 8.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 72.2% shooting from the field. The best part is his chemistry with 사설토토 Doncic. He's fulfilling the role of a complementary big man that Dallas was hoping for. Doncic's passing timing and movement allows Lilliby to find open spaces. This is exactly what Dallas was looking for at the center position.

Lively's play has taken a huge load off Dallas' shoulders. While Doncic and Kyrie Irving deserve a lot of the credit for the Mavs' early-season success, it's impossible not to mention Lin.