NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Rockets' Cam Whitmore rises with stellar play, who falls?

Houston Rockets v Indiana Pacers
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5. Dereck Lively II

Last week's rank: 5

The last game that Dereck Lively II played before suffering a gruesome broken nose was against the Orlando Magic on January 29. Since returning from injury, Lively II has appeared in two games and played in the NBA's Rising Stars challenge over All-Star weekend.

After a busy weekend, Lively II was poised to make his return to the starting rotation with the Mavericks' Thursday night affair against the Suns. Despite struggling offensively, Lively II held his own on defense and may have proved to fans how good of a switch defender he can be around the perimeter.

Lively II's defense helped the Mavs keep their rival to a minimal 113 points and made it hard for any Suns player to enter the paint.

With the Mavericks nearing a fully healthy team, now is the time to make their postseason push. The Mavs have managed to win seven in a row and despite missing five of those games, Lively II has been critical for the team's success.

Offensively, Lively II showcased some of his creation with a crazy baseline drive to the hoop against the Suns.

The only concern fans have with Lively II is his health. He has proven he can be a starting-caliber center in this league but has yet to play extensive amounts of games in a row due to injuries. If Lively II expects to rise in next week's rankings, he will need to show he can stay healthy and continue dominating. The Mavericks' next game will be on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers.