Mavericks suffer game-changing injury ahead of series against Thunder

Dallas Maverick, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Maverick, Maxi Kleber / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the LA Clippers in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on Friday night, officially punching their ticket to the second round to battle the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Kyrie Irving erupted in the second half against the Clippers last night as he finished with 30 points and was unguardable down the stretch, and the Mavs played like a team that can hang with any team in the league.

Dallas' defense was excellent in this series, and X-factors like P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. stepped up when they needed them most.

Maxi Kleber suffers scary shoulder injury ahead of series against Thunder

Another X-factor who really stepped up against the Clippers was Maxi Kleber. Kleber knocked down five threes in Game 5, and he was great defensively in the series as well.

Unfortunately, Kleber went down with a right shoulder sprain after taking a hard fall when going for a layup in the second quarter. Amir Coffey was under him, and he crashed to the floor and was in serious pain.

He remained in the game to take his two free throws and played one defensive possession before being subbed out and he didn't play for the rest of the game. Kleber never returned to the bench either, and this injury will be a massive blow if Kleber misses any time during the Thunder series.

Kleber means more to the Mavs than any stat could ever tell you, and his ability to take his game to the next level in the playoffs is remarkable. Kleber has been in little shooting slumps entering the playoffs this season and in 2022, and he has smashed both of these slumps in the playoffs.

Playoff risers are unbelievably valuable to your team, and Kleber's minutes have been huge so far in the postseason. Kleber's ability to play both the four and five are excellent, and he would be a huge X-factor when playing the Thunder considering how small they are overall.

Dallas already matches up well with Oklahoma City, and Kleber not playing in this series could hurt the Mavs way more than people realize. There have been no updates on Kleber's injury yet.

For all the latest on Maxi Kleber and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tu