Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks win over Nets: 2. Maxi rewards Kidd’s trust
Maxi Kleber has been part of the team’s closing lineup this season, and some fans have questioned that move. Head coach Jason Kidd trusts Kleber after the team’s run to the conference finals last season, and MFFLs know that the 6’10 forward brings a unique blend of defense and shot-making. Kleber rewarded that trust on Thursday night in Brooklyn.
He had 15 points on four of five shooting from the field, including hitting three 3-pointers. The rest of Kleber’s stat line may not have been impressive, but he played stout defense and was a plus-15 in his 33 minutes on the floor.
Kleber nailed a key 3-pointer in overtime and gave the Mavericks the ability to switch on defense. He primarily guarded Ben Simmons, but the 6’10 big man switched on to Kyrie and KD and held his own. Kleber’s unique ability to guard in the paint and on the perimeter makes him a key piece for the Mavericks if they want to make a deep playoff run.
Head coach Jason Kidd has a lot of options for his closing lineups. He went Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kleber over Spencer Dinwiddie and Christian Wood because they were hot on Thursday night. Expect Kidd to keep mixing things up and riding hot hands as Dallas looks to finish in the top four in the Western Conference for the second straight year.