3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' commanding Game 3 win over Timberwolves

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Dud - Dereck Lively II's injury

The Dallas Mavericks have one of the best one-two punches in the NBA at the center position with Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford, but one of Dallas' fan-favorite bigs has separated himself as the better option in these playoffs.

Despite Gafford's resurgence in Game 2 and great energy, Lively II has been the better of the two options. Gafford has had some bad games no matter what the stat sheet says, and Lively II's decision-making in the short roll is great. Passing and playing out of the short roll is one thing Gafford struggles with, and fans saw plenty of Gafford in Game 3 as Lively II went down with a neck sprain in the first half.

Lively II was kneed in the back of the head by Karl-Anthony Towns, and it was a scary sight for fans in attendance as he couldn't walk to the locker room without help from Markieff Morris. Him getting injured happened at the worst possible time for the Mavs considering how well he was playing, but Dallas was able to squeak out a win regardless.

There is no current timetable for Lively II's return, but him not being diagnosed with a concussion and the Mavs listing him as questionable to return is a good sign.

Lively II has been key for the Mavs controlling the paint in this series, and his availability will be important for the Mavs moving forward.