Mavericks’ Jason Kidd provides practice update on Dereck Lively II

Dallas Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II has participated fully in two practice sessions this week after missing the last eight games of the season with a knee sprain, coach Jason Kidd said on Thursday.

Lively sustained the injury on March 31 in a win over the Houston Rockets. He appears to be trending toward playing on Sunday as the No. 5 Mavericks begin the first round of the playoffs against the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.

The 12th pick is practicing following the passing of his mother, Kathy Drysdale, on April 12 after an 11-year battle with cancer. He penned a touching tribute and wore a No. 42 Mavericks jersey with her name inscribed on it that evening on the bench as the team hosted Detroit.

Kidd was in awe of his strength to remain with the team.

He has done incredible. He is an incredible young man, and his spirit is in a good place of what he is going through off the floor. You wouldn’t know with the way that he practiced today. We all know being with him yesterday of what he is going through, so as a 20-year-old, he has been incredible. We’re here to support what he is going through off the floor, but he came to work today and did a great job.

Lively emerged as a key player for the Mavericks in the starting lineup and as a reserve this season; the team posted a 16-6 record when he scored in double figures. He has been a force on the glass and has provided tremendous rim protection since joining the team.

The 7-footer averaged 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 assists on 74.7% shooting from the field in 55 games this season. He led the rookie class in field-goal percentage and finished third in blocks and rebounds per game.

Lively finished the season with the highest field-goal percentage by any rookie in history. He also became just the fifth rookie to record two games with at least 20 points on 90% shooting from the field or better in the same season.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire