The lone ranger's swing is really worth it
In yesterday's game between the Mavericks and the Thunder, the Mavericks blasted a 30-0 super attack wave in the last 6 minutes of the final quarter and almost completed a big reversal. The 30-0 run was the largest X-0 attack wave in NBA history, but the digging hole in front was too big, and with the Thunder's calm handling, the Mavericks still lost the game.
Playing 30-0 and then losing the game, it's hard to gauge how strong or weak this Mavericks really are. The Mavericks' current 11-8 record also proves that they are still a team that is not consistent enough. But what is certain is that their bad behavior at the end of last season is really worth it.
Last season's Mavericks had a rollercoaster season. In the first half of the season, the Mavericks were in the top four in the West and had a solid record. But after trading to Irving, the Mavericks' record began to deteriorate sharply, and injuries and run-ins were unfavorable, and the Mavericks instantly fell to the play-in zone.
At this point, the Mavericks' management is faced with a choice, whether to play in the play-in zone and fight for a playoff game, or to keep the 2023 first-round pick on the line. Their 2023 first-round pick was given to the Knicks in a trade by Boshen, but it was a top-10 pick.
If the Mavericks' record is within the bottom 10, the Mavericks will most likely keep this first-round pick. Mavericks management decisively started the road to swing, and at first Doncic and Irving did not agree to swing, after all, no player was willing to surrender and admit defeat.
The final game of the season against the Bulls was a game they had to lose, and a win could cost them the first round. The Mavericks rested most of their main team, and Doncic rested after only one quarter. In the end, he finally lost to the Bulls by 3 points and kept his first round.
The Mavericks were even fined $750,000 by the league for their superficial behavior. It means that you know that you are going to be rotten, but you are too obvious. Kidd said after the game: "It's not so much about waving the white flag and surrendering, it's about the future. ”
This first-round pick eventually became the No. 10 pick in the first round, and the Mavericks' operation is not over yet. They traded the No. 10 pick for the No. 12 pick and a $17 million trade exception, while sending Bertans away with a garbage contract. This 17 million exception was sent to the Kings in exchange for the No. 24 pick + Holmes.
In other words, the Mavericks exchanged the bad No. 10 pick for two first-round picks of 12+24 and a backup center who could be used. But whether it is a profit or a loss depends on the person chosen by the lone ranger. Obviously, the Lone Ranger made a fortune.
The Mavericks drafted Derek Lively II from Duke University with the No. 12 pick, the first center in the class (Wemban is not a center). I think the Mavericks dared to exchange draft picks with the Thunder, because they were sure that the Thunder would not pick another center, and the 11th pick Magic was not in demand at this position.
Lively's college career wasn't actually smooth sailing, and Lively struggled with a calf injury at the start of the season. Especially on the offensive end, even after the second half of the season picked up, he still averaged only 5.2 points in 20.6 minutes per game.
It's hard to be a first-round pick in that offensive statistic, but Lively has used his defense to move himself up to the lottery. He averaged 2.4 blocks per game and was one of the strongest rim protectors in the tournament. He is excellent at defending the basket and can also switch and assist from outside the box.
Even when he is passed by a fast opponent, Lively is not slow and can use his height and reach to distract his opponents. With a height of 2.16 meters and an arm span of more than 2.3 meters, Lively is a natural defensive barrier. Among his draft templates is Tyson Chandler.
Lively and the Lone Ranger are a match made in heaven and need each other. Lively who lacks enough offensive ability needs a master of cake, and the Mavericks, who are weak on the inside, also urgently need to add a starting center.
Kidd started Lively in Game 2 of the season, and then he was the starting center for the Mavericks whenever Lively was available. So far this season, Lively has averaged 8.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 72.2% from the field.
The current rookie blocks per game rankings: Wemban leads with 2.7, Chet is second with 2.3, and Lively is third with 1.5. In yesterday's game against the Thunder, Lively was not afraid of Chet at all, shooting 9 of 9, cutting 20 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks, with a plus/minus of +12. Lively also became the first rookie in history to have a single-game 20+15+7 blocks + 100% shooting rate.
I don't think the strength of Lively is his size and athleticism, but his ability to analyse situations on the pitch, to be very calm in any situation, to know when to fill in and when to jump, and to wait patiently for every best opportunity to defend.
On the offensive end, he and Doncic are already very skilled in blocking and dismantling, and after picking out and receiving the ball, his finishing ability is also very strong, and he will not choose to force his shot without a 100% chance, and he will not be greedy for merit. Yesterday he also had a shackle against Chet, a long take-off distance, and a dodge in the air.
It's not often that you get a rookie outside of the 10th pick who has such an impact on a team. When Lively was sidelined with an injury, the Mavericks' interior line immediately became stretched. In the first game of Lively's return, he immediately handed over a report card of 100% shooting rate and 8+5+2 blocks.
Because Tyson Chandler served as an assistant coach with the Mavericks, Lively received Chandler's mentorship from day one with the Mavericks. "He's got a great spirit, and he's got a lot of myself to see," Chandler said. ”
Not every interior player needs to be able to shoot threes, do the best things within the score, and mix well in this league. If the Mavericks can pick Tyson Chandler II, it will be worth it last season.