Biggest question heading into Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers series: 4. Maxi’s health?
Maxi Kleber missed the Mavs final two regular-season games and six of their last eight with Achilles soreness. When he played, the 6’10 big man did not look himself. It is up in the air if he will be able to play and how effective he will be in the playoffs.
Coach Rick Carlisle had this to say about Maxi’s status following practice on May 19.
"“Today, he went through parts of the contact portion of practice, and there was a large contact portion of practice. Did well to my knowledge. Some of this is the test of how’s it going to be the next day and things like that, but we’re hoping that he is going to be okay.”"
Kleber is an important piece for the Mavericks. He shot a team-high 41.0 percent from 3-point range this season. The 29-year-old started 40 of his 50 games played and is one of the team’s top defenders. Kleber can check players on the perimeter and in the paint. He allows the Mavs to switch more and to throw different looks at the opposition.
Coach Rick Carlisle started Maxi Kleber in last year’s playoffs to match up on Kawhi Leonard. If he is out, Dallas will struggle to deal with Leonard’s size and strength. Kleber’s status is uncertain and figures to be a massive question mark going into the series. Expect the Dallas Mavericks to keep it close to the vest until they have to make a firm determination on his status. His health or lack thereof could sway the series.
Next: No. 3