Daniel Gafford’s selflessness shows why Mavs have elite 'one-two punch' at center

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are hard at work preparing for their first-round matchup versus the LA Clippers, as the Mavericks have already had multiple practices since regular season play concluded for Dallas last Sunday versus the Thunder.

The Mavericks won 16 out of their last 20 games to finish out the regular season, so many fans are starting to believe that the Mavericks can make a deep playoff run, something that seemed like a far fetch just a few weeks ago when the Mavericks were jousting to make it out of play-in territory.

The Mavericks themselves certainly believe that they are true contenders, as many Mavericks players have been buzzing with excitement in their post-practice interviews recently leading up to this matchup against the Clippers.

Daniel Gafford’s selflessness shows why Mavs have an elite one-two punch with him and Dereck Lively II

Daniel Gafford carried this excitement along in his post-practice interview on Thursday, as Gafford was very complimentary of the Mavericks' chemistry as well as the leadership of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.

Gafford also said something in his post-practice interview that will excite Mavericks fans not just for the playoffs, but for years to come. When asked about the center duo of himself with Dereck Lively II, Gafford had this to say, "If one guy falls down, the next guy steps up….The one-two punch…If I get in early foul trouble I know I got somebody that’s going to come in and pick up from where I left off."

This selfless analogy from Gafford shows that he isn't worried about relinquishing any playing time to Lively II, as Gafford was very complementary of Lively II's role on the Mavericks, even calling them a "one-two punch". This shows that Gafford and Lively II have a good relationship, as well as the fact that the Mavericks likely won't have any issues with the two centers butting heads for playing time in the future.

Gafford and Lively II are both integral components of this Mavericks team for years to come as they are only 25 and 20 years old respectively, and both players are under contract for multiple years after this season. Given that both players have exhibited selflessness in regard to their role, the Mavericks may have one of the NBA's best center duos for years to come.

There's even a chance that Gafford and Lively II can play together in some lineups one day if Lively II develops a 3-point shot because Dallas could still maintain their spacing on offense and Lively II has proven he can defend decently in space.

Even if Lively II still has some work to do as a shooter before that's achievable, the Mavericks have two rim-protecting and rim-rolling centers of equal caliber that they can stagger between 48 minutes in any given playoff game, which is an absolute win when you consider where the Mavericks center rotation was at the end of last season.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, and Daniel Gafford ahead of the playoffs, stay tuned as we will have you covered.