Problem Dallas Mavericks address before the playoffs: 3. Maxi’s slump
When the Mavs traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards, it left them thin on the front line. Dwight Powell and Boban Marjanovic are the only two traditional centers left on the roster with Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith handling the majority of the minutes at the four. As teams go smaller in the playoffs, Kleber becomes a key piece for the Mavericks.
The 6’10 forward can defend on the perimeter and protect the rim. His size, strength, and quickness allow him to guard superstar forwards like Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. Kleber is the Mavericks' best option as a small-ball five, and he will be a massive part of their defense in the playoffs.
It is a bad time for Maxi Kleber to be caught in a shooting slump, but he has made just six of his last 38 3-point attempts. The 30-year-old is strictly a catch-and-shoot option on offense, so his shooting struggles have made him a non-factor on that end of the floor in recent games.
The Dallas Mavericks need to get Kleber’s shooting back on track before the postseason. If not, teams will leave him open as they sell out to stop Luka Doncic from getting easy looks in the paint. Kleber's shooting is something to monitor for the rest of the season.