Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 2 playoff win over Jazz: 2. Kleber finds his shot
The Jazz prefer to play drop coverage against the pick and roll as they attempt to shut off shots at the rim, but it can hurt them when the opposition spreads the floor and knocks down shots. Dallas used that game plan to perfection in Game 2 as Maxi Kleber played a key role.
Kleber missed the final four games of the regular season, and he showed some rust in the series opener, but Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd still trusted him in the closing rotation. The 6’10 big man rewarded that faith in Game 2 as he had a career night.
Kleber had 25 points on eight of 11 shooting from 3-point range in 32 minutes of action. His eight threes tied a franchise playoff record. Utah was comfortable giving him space, and the Mavericks' big man made them pay. Kleber also chipped in six rebounds and three dimes in a crucial performance to help Dallas even the series.
Kleber’s shooting opened the floor for Dallas. Rudy Gobert had to make decisions from that point on, and the Mavericks kept making the Jazz pay. If Gobert rotated into the paint, Dallas kicked out for an open shot, and when he stayed home on Kleber, Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie feasted at the rim.
Credit to Maxi Kleber for stepping up and playing a key role in the win. The Mavs will need him to keep making shots if they want to advance past the Jazz.