Adjustment Dallas Mavericks need to make in Game 2 vs. Suns: 3. More Kleber less DP
Maxi Kleber made five of his eight 3-point attempts in Game 1, and the Mavs will not get 19 points from him in every game, but Dwight Powell was played off the floor in Game 1.
The Mavericks' starting center played 16 minutes and finished with four points and one rebound as Dallas was outscored by ten points when he was in the game. DP cannot defend Ayton, stretch the floor, or rebound. The Suns will keep dominating the minutes when Powell plays because they can easily take him out of the game.
Head coach Jason Kidd cannot take DP out of the rotation entirely because he needs his minutes. The Mavs will play an eight or nine-man rotation, so starters can rest and recover. Expect Powell to start, and be pulled early in both halves as the Mavericks go with more Maxi Kleber or no big man lineups in Game 2.
Dallas needs Kleber to defend without fouling when he is on the floor. Yes, he will draw the difficult matchup of Deandre Ayton, but Kleber getting in foul trouble wrecks the Mavs rotation and makes it impossible for coach Kidd to enact his game plan. More Maxi, but no fouls in Game 2.