The Smoking Cuban

Mavericks: 5 takeaways from preseason opening win over Jazz

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks preseason opener vs. Jazz: 4. Kleber is better than ever

Fans expected Maxi Kleber to start in the preseason opener after it was announced that Dwight Powell would be out, but head coach Jason Kidd went in a different direction. The 6’10 big man came off the bench but made a massive impact. He finished with seven points and two rebounds in 19 minutes of action, including this dunk off a fantastic cut.

Kleber’s minutes decreased last postseason as injuries caught up with him. He was dealing with an Achilles issue that slowed him as the series against the LA Clippers wore on, but the 29-year-old looks healthy and slimmed down heading into the 2021-2022 season. He was the White team’s leading-scorer in the team’s open practice, and Kleber followed it with a strong performance in the preseason opener.

Maxi Kleber will be a key piece for the Dallas Mavericks this season. His ability to protect the rim and defend on the perimeter is unique. He can also knock down threes and looks to be getting a bit more involved in the offense under head coach Jason Kidd. Keep an eye on Kleber’s performances as the preseason wears on.