The Dallas Mavericks recently wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 114-104 win over the Detroit Pistons. This would mark the team's first preseason win just five days before the 2023-24 regular season would tip-off.
After the 0-3 start to the preseason, fans were begging to see improvement before their final game against Detroit. Fans got what they wished for, and the Mavericks were firing on all cylinders, including a masterful performance out of rookie center Dereck Lively II.
Lively II would impress many fans and even showcase why he should be the Mavericks' starting center. He and Kyrie Irving would easily pick apart the Pistons' defense, and on the defensive end, Lively II premiered his elite shot-blocking ability all preseason long.
Mavs rookie Dereck Lively II is fearless ahead of matchup with Victor Wembanyama
As the Mavericks prepare for their season opener against the San Antonio Spurs, Lively II will draw a tough defensive assignment as he faces up against fellow rookie Victor Wembanyama. Lively II offered a firey comment when asked about his future matchup against Wembanyama after Friday night's preseason win.
"It's gonna be a battle and I'm excited for it"- Dereck Lively II
Lively II will have his work cut out as he will match up against one of the best NBA prospects ever in Wembanyama, but he has already demonstrated his defensive capabilities all preseason long.
It will be crucial the Mavericks start the season off hot, and a win in San Antonio would be the perfect firework win to get the team ready for the season ahead. It starts with Lively II, and if he can contain Wembanyama, the Mavs have a good shot at starting 1-0.
The Dallas Mavericks are less than 24 hours away from the start of their 2023-24 season. For more updates as the Mavericks tip off the regular season, stay plugged in.