4 Studs, 1 dud from Mavericks' series-clinching win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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2. Dud - Daniel Gafford

The Dallas Mavericks big man duo of Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford has been solid in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, but individually, Gafford struggled in Game 6.

Gafford finished with 10 points while shooting 4-7 from the field and 2-4 from the free-throw line. These stats may not seem abnormally poor, but the eye test might tell a different story.

Gafford was a -25 in this game, and his play out of the short roll was hard to watch. Lively II clearly has him beat in this area, and Gafford got played off the floor in Game 6. He only ended up playing 19 minutes, and the Thunder were exposing him by double-teaming Kyrie Irving or Luka Doncic right when they got past half-court. This would force the big man to flash near the top of the key to help them out, but Gafford struggled to make plays in these situations.

He would be forced into a bad shot if he decided to attack the rim, and didn't show much confidence when the ball was in his hands.

Gafford still brought great energy in this game and rebounded well, but if he is going to continue to start, he has to start playing up to Lively II's level or Jason Kidd might be forced to make a tough decision for Game 7.