The Dallas Mavericks suffered their second loss this week when they fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-110. Luka Doncic sat out Thursday's game as he is dealing with left quadriceps soreness.
Small forward Derrick Jones Jr. had another great game, scoring 15 points, nine rebounds, and three steals against Minnesota. Two days ago, against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he had 12 points, five rebounds, and three blocks.
Dante Exum also continued his excellence for Dallas. Against Cleveland on Wednesday, he scored 13 points and six assists while shooting 50 percent. He had similar numbers against the Timberwolves when he had 11 points and six assists on 45.5 percent shooting.
NBA All-Star center offers high praise for Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II
However, one Dallas Maverick player failed to replicate success compared to his other teammates. Dallas rookie Dereck Lively II has struggled over the past two games despite being one of the key contributors all season long.
In two games, Lively II has combined for six points, eight rebounds, and nine personal fouls. Against Minnesota, the Dallas rookie played just 15 minutes as he ran into early foul trouble.
One NBA veteran, though, believes the Mavericks rookie will be just fine. Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen recently spoke on the success Lively II has been having this season and the struggles he had on Wednesday.
Allen elaborated on what sort of advice he would offer to the Dallas rookie and what it meant to be able to play alongside an All-Star like Doncic.
"Just watch a lot of film of the guys that have been in your position and try to take things from everybody ahead of you. He's lucky to be able to play with Luka Doncic, to be able to get a lot of reps, a lot of shots. "- Jarrett Allen
Allen had his way against the Dallas rookie on Wednesday. Against the Mavs, the Cavs center recorded a double-double with 24 points and 23 rebounds. Allen played a role in helping his team outrebound Dallas 57-37.
This is nothing unusual, as Allen has averaged a double-double in two of the past four seasons. Not to mention, he also made the NBA All-Star Game in 2022.
So, Allen's offering Lively II advice shouldn't be taken lightly. It seems he wants what's best for the Mavs' rookie. Here is what other guidance he had for Lively II.
"And don't get down on yourself. You're going to have a long career in this league and enjoy every step of the way."- Jarrett Allen
With four months left of the season, Lively II's progress will continue to grow. It's possible the rookie could even learn a few trips and tricks from Allen.
For all the latest on Dereck Lively II, Luka Doncic, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.