Thing Dallas Mavericks need to clean up after Game 1 win: 2. Defense vs. Kawhi
The Mavs inserted Maxi Kleber back into the starting lineup to match up against the Clippers. They opened the game with Kleber on Kawhi Leonard. Coach Rick Carlisle likes his size and strength when guarding the Klaw. The Clippers superstar dominated the Mavericks inside the bubble. He will have massive games, but Dallas needs to make every shot difficult for Kawhi.
Leonard finished with 26 points, ten rebounds, five assists, and four steals in 41 minutes in Game 1. He was just nine of 22 from the field, though. It was a bit of an off shooting night, but the Mavericks cannot afford to let plays like this happen.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/22/0042000171/116/7805e77d-e1ed-d742-9ff4-065978e5dea2_1280x720.mp4
Kleber gets caught watching the ball leaving Kawhi wide open for his only made 3-pointer in Game 1. Leonard will make Dallas pay whenever they make mistakes. The Mavericks need to stay focused and make every attempt difficult for the Klaw.
Dallas sent double teams and forced the ball out of Leonard’s hands late in the game. They need to make someone else beat them. He scored 29-plus in all six contests in last year’s first-round series as the Clippers cruised to victory. The Mavericks have to play outstanding defense on Kawhi Leonard if they want to pull the upset.
Next: No. 1