Mavericks: Daniel Gafford’s 2-word advice for rivals hoping to stop Luka Doncic’s pick-and-roll

Mavericks center Daniel Gafford believes that the involvement of a higher being may be necessary to stop them.

Luka Doncic Has Major Praise for Dallas Mavs Trade Additions P.J.  Washington, Daniel Gafford - Sports Illustrated Dallas Mavericks News,  Analysis and More

The Dallas Mavericks made a solid move prior to the trade deadline when they brought in Daniel Gafford to give the team another rim-protecting lob threat to dance with Luka Doncic in the pick-and-roll. And over the past few games, Gafford has cemented his place as quite the ideal dance partner for Doncic, with the former Washington Wizards center playing a huge role in the Mavericks’ 127-92 demolition of the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Gafford, who hasn’t missed for three straight games entering their contest against the Bulls, continued his stellar efficiency from the field, going 9-9 (he has now made 28 straight field goals), finishing with 20 points. The connection between Doncic and Gafford has been at the heart of the Mavericks’ incredible offense over the last few games, and now, Gafford thinks that their opponents must enlist the help of a higher being just so they could stop their vaunted pick-and-roll.

“Just pray,” Gafford replied when asked how teams could slow down the Mavericks’ pick-and-roll attack, per Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score.

Indeed, some divine intervention might be necessary to force Daniel Gafford to miss a shot. After all, his 28 straight made field goals is an NBA record during the play-by-play era, which began during the 1996-97 season. Gafford has always been an athletic marvel who can finish at the rim with the best of them, but the Mavericks’ spacing and playmaking courtesy of Luka Doncic has taken his game to an entirely different stratosphere. (Doncic has averaged 11.2 assists since Gafford arrived.)

There was a stretch in Gafford’s Mavericks tenure to this point where it seemed like his addition wouldn’t be as crucial as it looked when he was so dominant in his debut for Dallas against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavs chose to move him to the bench in favor of Dereck Lively II, but there’s no way they halt Gafford’s momentum by doing so yet again.

The rim-running big man who can’t space the floor may no longer be the preferred archetype in today’s NBA. The past few NBA champions have had centers who can shoot on the floor during the minutes that matter the most. But if Daniel Gafford continues to be an automatic two points, then perhaps the Mavericks can buck that trend sooner than later.

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