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Dallas Mavericks: 3 players who will be crucial off the bench

Dallas Mavericks Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks Jalen Brunson / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Mavericks Maxi Kleber / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks player that is crucial off the bench: 2. Maxi Kleber

Kleber will both start and come off the bench for the Mavs this season. He is a crucial piece of their lineup and rotation because of his ability to space the floor and defend. Kleber shot 41.0 percent from 3-point range last season, and he will continue to knock down shots.

The 6’10 big man has a rare combination of skills on the defensive end because he can guard on the perimeter and protect the rim. His shot-blocking took a step backward last season, but Kleber dealt with injuries and an illness that hampered his production. The 29-year-old should be healthy and ready to be a key piece for the Mavs this year.

Kleber is the Mavericks' best defensive option for matching up against superstar fours. He was the primary defender on Kawhi Leonard in each of the team’s last two playoff series before injuries sapped his production in 2021. Expect Kleber to draw the start against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans too. Dallas needs his size and skill in certain matchups.

The Dallas Mavericks are going to match up against superstars in the playoffs, and Maxi Kleber’s defense and shot-making will be massive. If he is hitting his jumpers and holding his own against the opposing superstar, the Mavs will have a chance to win.