3 Dallas Mavericks that must perform better in December

Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock
Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Dallas Mavericks that must perform better in December: 2. Maxi Kleber

Kleber offers a unique skill set that head coach Jason Kidd likes to close games. The 6’10 big man can defend on the perimeter, protect the rim, and space the floor. Kleber has been Kidd’s preferred frontcourt partner for Christian Wood this season, and the Hall of Fame point guard wants Maxi on the floor late in close games.

Kleber has struggled out of the gate as he is shooting just 31.1 percent from 3-point range and averaging 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game. Kleber is playing more minutes each night, but all of those stats have dropped from last season. He also missed four games with a back injury after suffering a hard fall.

The Mavericks need Kleber to get back to shooting over 35 percent from long-range. His play is never going to jump off the screen. Kleber is a switchable defender that locks in to get stops. The 6’10 big man was outstanding in coach Kidd’s scheme last season, and the entire team is looking to find their defensive footing this year.

Maxi Kleber will play a key role for the Dallas Mavericks when the games matter most. Shooting 43.6 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs helped the team advance to the conference finals. Dallas needs that Kleber if they want to get back to the postseason and make another deep run.