Why Mavericks big men are the biggest keys in playoff series versus Jazz

Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell
Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Maxi Kleber needs to knock down shots and defend in Dallas Mavericks vs. Jazz playoff series

The second guy that the Mavericks will need this series is Maxi Kleber. Maxi has been pretty dreadful on offense over the past few months, and Dallas needs him to be better.

Maxi's most vital skill offensively is his ability to stretch the floor, but recently he's lacked confidence in his shot, making him ineffective on that side of the ball. If Kleber can pose a threat behind the arc, that would take Rudy Gobert out of the paint. This would open the door for Jalen Brunson, Luka, and Spencer Dinwiddie to do what they do best and attack the rim without the league's best rim protector.

While Maxi's shooting has been inconsistent, the one thing that hasn't is his defense. He is underrated as a rim protector, which is something he brings that DP doesn't.

The Mavs will need that defensive presence because Donovan Mitchell loves to attack the rim. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock will make things hard on Mitchell on the perimeter. He's going to look to go downhill, and if Maxi can offer resistance down there, he could take away a massive chunk of the Jazz's scoring.

Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber playing well are imperative to a team that may either be playing with a hobbled Luka Doncic or no Luka at all for at least part of the series. These are real possibilities that the Dallas Mavericks will have to face, and they will have to be close to their absolute best to win this series under the circumstances.

Next. 5 X-factors for Mavs vs. Jazz playoff series. dark

This team has answered the call all year, and I think they'll do it again against the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs.