5. Dereck Lively II
Last week's rank: 5
Since returning from injury, Dereck Lively II has struggled to affect the game offensively. Outside of Lively II's 16-point performance against the Lakers, he has only scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Mavericks' last two games.
By no means is Lively II the culprit to the Mavericks' problems, but asking a 19-year-old to be the anchor of your rebounding and defense is a large task to ask. Lively II has done an amazing job all season being the anchor for the Mavs, but throughout the toughest stretch of the season for the Mavs, a lot has been exposed.
Despite the recent three-game skid from both the Mavs and Lively II, he has meshed well alongside Luka Doncic. He and Doncic have created one of the most lethal lob-threat duos in the NBA and have only continued to get better.
Lively II has also done a good job of creating his shot. When entering the league, the former Blue Devil struggled to create his own offense. Now he has added a hook shot that he uses occasionally and has shown flashes in the short roll.
Since the turn of the new year, Lively II has become one of the most efficient scorers in the league. He is currently shooting just under 75 percent from the field.
On Friday, the Mavericks will play the Atlanta Hawks in their first of two matchups this season. For both the Mavs and Lively II, this could be an opportunity to bounce back after multiple disappointing performances.