4 Studs, 1 dud from Mavericks' series-clinching win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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1. Stud - Dereck Lively II

While the same can't be said about the Dallas Mavericks' other center Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively II was outstanding in Game 6. Lively II finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block while shooting 5-6 from the field.

Lively II was huge for the Mavs in the second half once they went away from Daniel Gafford, and the energy that he brought on both ends was outstanding. He was fighting in the paint for every rebound, affecting every drive that the Thunder made towards the paint, and finishing strong above the rim.

You can't teach effort, and Lively II brings 110 percent effort every night along with a contagious energy. Without Lively II, this game could have gone much differently, and his composure in the clutch for a 20-year-old is unreal.

The moment is never too big for him, and his ability to hit free throws late in the fourth quarter when the Mavs need him most has gone a long way for this team. Lively II undoubtedly outplayed Gafford in this game, and it wouldn't be a shock if Jason Kidd at least considers inserting him into the starting lineup.

The Mavs will find out their opponent in the Western Conference Finals tomorrow as the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves play in Game 7.

For all the latest on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.