The Dallas Mavericks have eight games left in the regular season and each one is massive in the playoff picture. They are trying to avoid the play-in tournament by finishing inside the top six in the Western Conference. Spots five through seven were tied on Monday morning. The Lakers won and Portland lost yesterday, but the margins remain slim for Dallas. They are going to have to do it shorthanded too.
Kristaps Porzingis will miss his third straight game as the Mavs face the Heat on Tuesday evening. He is dealing with right knee soreness. The injury has fans worried with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season. KP will not be the only big man out for the Mavericks down the stretch.
Maxi Kleber was ruled out for multiple games on May 4. Here is a closer look at what coach Rick Carlisle had to say before gauging the panic level moving forward.
Max Kleber out multiple games: Should Dallas Mavericks fans panic?
Fans can read what coach Carlisle had to say about the injury below, courtesy of Callie Caplan.
It sounds like the earliest Kleber could be back in the lineup is on Sunday against the Cavaliers, but it could be longer. The 6’10 big man has been dealing with this issue for a while. The team continually called it right lower leg soreness until they let it slip on the NBA’s official injury report yesterday that it is an Achilles issue.
Supporters should be worried. Kleber has started 40 of his 48 games played this season. He has proven to an elite floor spacer with the ability to defend both at the rim and on the perimeter. The 29-year-old’s versatility and ability to play his role have been key to the Mavs’ success. They are 30-18 when Kleber plays this season. Dallas would comfortably be fifth in the West had they produced that winning percentage the entire season.
Hopefully, Maxi Kleber makes a speedy recovery and is back on the floor for the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.