3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' thrilling Game 1 win over Timberwolves

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Stud - Dereck Lively II

Dallas Mavericks rookie big man Dereck Lively II has not looked like a rookie in the entire playoffs, and Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves was no different.

Lively II finished with nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks while shooting 4-4 from the field. As always, Lively II's impact was much bigger than the box score says, and he continues to be the best center on this team.

Lively II was great on the boards, and his growth in the short roll has been outstanding. Once he gets the ball in the short roll, he seems to always make the right decision and either make the pass to a shooter on the perimeter or go and score himself. Lively II always looks in control, and his growth in the short roll has been key for his player development.

He even had a euro-step layup in this game, and the Mavs will need him to continue to be dynamic off the bench to give the Mavs a jolt when Daniel Gafford subs out of the game. Lively II has happily accepted his role off the bench, and his constant energy and playing actively helped Dallas in Game 1.

All playoffs long, Lively II has been showing strength and maturity as he went through one of the toughest moments of his life earlier this year with the death of his mother. He shared an awesome moment with her on the floor after the Game 6 win as he says she was looking down on him.

For all the latest on Dereck Lively II and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the rest of the Western Conference Finals, stay tuned.