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Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) out vs. Cavs: Who will Mavericks start?

Dallas Mavericks, Willie Cauley-Stein
Dallas Mavericks, Willie Cauley-Stein / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks ruled out starting center Willie Cauley-Stein on Monday afternoon with a non-COVID related illness. It will be his first missed game of the season as the team hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 29.

Cauley-Stein started the last two games with mixed results for the Mavericks. Head coach Jason Kidd noted the coaching staff wanted to get a longer look at Trill in the starting five following Sunday’s practice, and that he would remain in the opening group, but his illness changes that.

Who will the Mavericks start on Monday night against Cleveland? It is the opportunity for Dallas to end their woes at the beginning of each half. Here is a closer look at who they should start.

Willie Cauley-Stein out vs. Cavaliers: Who will Dallas Mavericks start?

Dwight Powell started the first 16 games of the regular season for the Mavs, but that group struggled. In 100 minutes with DP playing with the team’s other four starters, they have a negative-16.3 net rating. Kidd could go back to starting Powell, but the supbar play of that group will continue.

The Mavs do not want to start Kristaps Porzingis at the five. He will likely shift there in the team’s closing lineup with Jalen Brunson filling in for the starting center, but Dallas does not want KP dealing with the physical toll of playing exclusively center.

If Porzingis is not going to start at the five, Maxi Kleber is the clear option to open the game. He has been part of the team’s closing group in the last two games with JB out because of a foot injury. Brunson is probable for Monday’s game versus the Cavs, but Kleber's defensive versatility and shot-making are the perfect fit for the starting lineup.

Who will head coach Jason Kidd select as the starter against the Cleveland Cavaliers? Dallas Mavericks fans need to tune in to find out but expect to see Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson playing around 30 minutes on Nov. 29.

Next. 3 reasons the Mavs cannot overlook the Cavs. dark