Dallas Mavericks: 5 things we learned in playoff preview versus Clippers
Thing we learned in Dallas Mavericks loss to Clippers: 5. Mavs have nobody to guard Kawhi
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. He is a four-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA player. Leonard also led the Raptors to a championship last season. The 29-year-old needs no introduction.
Leonard has absolutely destroyed the Mavericks this season. He had 28 points in 28 minutes in the first meeting. That was followed up by 36 points in 36 minutes in January. Not to be outdone, Leonard dropped 29 on Thursday. He hit multiple key shots to stop Dallas runs.
The Mavericks have primarily used Dorian Finney-Smith on him. That should come as no surprise because Doe-Doe is the Mavs top defender. Leonard has shot 15 of 31 in the 17:46 that Finney-Smith has matchup on him this season, according to NBA Stats.
Kawhi has scored easily on Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis too. One player that has done well is Maxi Kleber. Leonard is just five of 12 against him in a small sample size. Finney-Smith is not getting the job done against Kawhi. Perhaps Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will use Kleber more on Leonard in the playoffs. It is certainly something to monitor going forward.
Next: No. 4