Dereck Lively II's strength through heartbreaking tragedy illustrated by viral moment

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals with a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and their series against the Minnesota Timberwolves begins tomorrow.

In Dallas' Game 6 win, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic were great down the stretch, but several of the Mavericks role players also left their mark on this game to lead to the win.

Dereck Lively II had a huge game, as he finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds, and his reaction after the game was over was extremely showing of the strength he's had through one of the hardest moments of his life.

Dereck Lively II's strength through death of his mother illustrated by viral moment

Lively II's mother, Kathy Drysdale, passed away in April right before the start of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, and this is something that hasn't been easy for him. Drysdale lived with him, and she has always been his No. 1 fan. Their relationship was heartwarming, and Lively II and his mom shared a moment after the big Game 6 win.

Lively II looked up to the sky with his arms above his head, and he knew his mom was looking down on him as he had just won the biggest game of his life. He said he could feel her "smile and words of affirmation" in this moment, and this was awesome to see Lively II open up and be vulnerable regarding his mother whom he loves so much.

Lively II's bond with his mother can never be broken, and his ability to stay poised on the court during this tough time has been unbelievable. Losing both of your parents at the age of 20 is not easy, and Lively II's strength to come to work every day with a smile on his face during this time has been remarkable.

All of his teammates have spoken about his strength on and off the court through this moment, and the Mavs will need another big series out of their rookie center.

The Timberwolves have two elite bigs with Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, and Lively II is going to have his hands full as he'll likely spend time guarding both of them in this series. Lively II has never shied away from the big moment, and he is going to have some of the toughest games of his life in this series considering that Dallas has the chance to make the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011.

For all the latest on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned.