NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Ausar Thompson rises, who falls?

Dec 11, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) dunks over
Dec 11, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) dunks over / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played their in-state rival, the Houston Rockets. In a game that saw very little competition, the Mavericks would fall 122-96 in ugly fashion.

Despite the Mavericks getting blown out, they were without arguably three of their most important players, including MVP candidate Luka Doncic. Co-star Kyrie Irving has also missed multiple games now after suffering a heel contusion in a game against the Trail Blazers. However, things look to be getting better for Irving and the Mavericks.

With the Mavericks missing over half of their starting unit, they had to make do with the players they had. In one of Tim Hardaway Jr's. first starts of the season, he wouldn't disappoint as he finished the game with 16 points and became the only starter in double figures.

NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Ausar Thompson rises, who falls?

Off the bench, things would fare a little better. Richaun Holmes became one of the Mavs' biggest contributors. He finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and became one of only three Mavericks to finish the game with a positive plus-minus.

Rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper would lead all Mavericks in scoring with 20 points and six rebounds. Prosper finally seems to be getting used to the pace of the NBA.

Dexter Dennis and A.J. Lawson also had great games off the bench, as they got more playing time than usual. Dennis would explode for 18 points, while Lawson would lead the game with four total steals.

With rookie center Dereck Lively II now missing his fourth game of the season, the Mavericks fall to 1-5 without him in their lineup after Saturday's win over the Spurs. Lively II has proven to be a costly piece for the Mavericks. With this in mind, let's take a look at how this week's Rookie Power Rankings are shaping up.

10. Toumani Camara

Last week's rank: N/A

Camara has played amazing all year after being traded out of Phoenix. He has become a bright spot and potential building piece for the struggling Blazers squad.

9. Bilal Coulibaly

Last week's rank: 9

Bilal has continued to surprise many fans. He has now worked into a sixth-man spot off the bench and has proven to be a very good defender. Bilal has even flashed a potentially lethal shot, as he is now draining in threes on a regular basis.

8. Brandin Podziemski

Last week's rank: 8

Podziemski continues to get a deeper role within the Warriors system, which is why he is staying at eight this week. Podziemski has proven to be one of the Warriors' best young players and could become an intricate role player moving forward.

7. Keyonte George

Last week's rank: 6

George falls one spot this week after an unfortunate lower-body injury. Similar to Lively II, George's presence on the court has proven to become a need for the Jazz as they have dropped multiple games this past week.

6. Dereck Lively II

Last week's rank: 5

Lively II deserves a top-five spot, but after a lower-body injury that has kept him out multiple weeks, he will fall. Lively II's presence on the court has become a need for the Dallas Mavericks as they fall to 1-5 without the rookie center in their lineup.