Mavericks rookie is turning into the Timberwolves' kryptonite

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, Rudy Gobert
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, Rudy Gobert / David Berding/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks stunned the NBA world by taking the first game of the Western Conference Finals and defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-105.

This was the textbook definition of "stealing" a game. The 3-point discrepancy favored the Wolves in a fashion where you shouldn't ever lose the game, especially at home.

Two glaring advantages favored the team and ultimately helped them secure the game, winning the rebounding battle 48-40 and winning the paint overall. Much of the success in these battles can be accredited to the Mavericks star rookie, Dereck Lively II.

Dereck Lively II is becoming the Timberwolves' kryptonite

Dereck Lively II has been an absolute monster this postseason and continues to show how impactful he can be during the Conference Finals.

Lively II has been so effective coming off the bench, which is also a factor in his success. Even though Lively II has the highest +/- out of Mavs' bigs, starting him off the bench and finishing with him closing has been the recipe for success.

There are a ton of mismatches on the floor for Minnesota, and Dereck Lively II is making it known he's another one. Rudy Gobert only finished with seven rebounds and was a liability on both ends. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year must adjust against the Mavericks offense and Dereck Lively II.

The Mavericks should be prepared for the Timberwolves to emphasize getting to the rim and being better in the paint. The Timberwolves shot 49 threes in Game 1, which happens to be the most they've shot all season.

Ultimately, if the Mavs stick to their game plan and knock down a few more open shots, there's a high chance the team could be headed back to Dallas up 2-0. Stay tuned for more updates on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks.