5. Dereck Lively II
Last week's rank: 4
Unfortunately, Dereck Lively II dropped one spot in this week's power rankings. After a rough few games, including a disappointing four points in the Mavericks' loss to the Pelicans, it was clear he needed a bounce-back game.
He would get that bounce-back game last night against the Wizards. With a career-high 17 points, including nine rebounds. He would be a huge reason the Mavericks were so dominant over the Wizards.
Lively II has continued to raise many eyebrows in the national media. As a rookie, he has almost averaged a double-double. In the last few games, his rebound numbers have skyrocketed while his points per game have hovered around nine per game.
During most games, Lively II continues to dominate the paint in most matchups. However, against Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas, Lively II's youth would be shown on full display. Valanciunas dominated on the boards, and offensively, he got whatever he wanted in the second match.
As the Mavericks' competition continues to get harder, so will Lively II's. The Mavericks will play the Bucks, Kings, and Lakers in the next three games. For two out of the three games, Lively II will play All-Star caliber talent at the center position; it will be intriguing to see how the rookie plays in these high-caliber games.