Maxi Kleber (knee) out vs Cavaliers: Who steps up for Dallas Mavericks?

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

The Dallas Mavericks ruled out Maxi Kleber before Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a right knee sprain. He missed time with a back and a foot injury earlier in the season, but this knee issue just popped. Kleber was listed as questionable before being ruled out on the afternoon of the game.

The 6’10 forward is arguably the Mavs most important big man. Head coach Jason Kidd prefers to use Kleber in his closing lineup, and he is the preferred big to share the frontcourt with Christian Wood. Kleber’s unique ability to defend both on the perimeter and protect the rim, while being able to space the floor makes him a key piece of the rotation.

Maxi will miss at least Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers, but he could be out additional time, especially with Dallas facing a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Who steps up with Kleber on the sidelines?

Maxi Kleber (knee) out vs Cavaliers: Who steps up for Dallas Mavericks?

The Mavs are just 1-4 without Kleber this season. With Josh Green also out, the Mavericks will have to give more playing time to Dwight Powell and Christian Wood. Do not be surprised to see Davis Bertans and/or JaVale McGee work their way into the rotation, especially against the Cavaliers, who will frequently play two big men. Bertans will need to make his jumpers, and McGee must rebound and protect the rim to stay on the floor if given the opportunity.

Expect Reggie Bullock and Frank Ntilikina to get some additional run on Wednesday night too. Coach Kidd wants to improve the defense to the floor, and he will have to upgrade on the perimeter without Kleber on the floor.

Hopefully, Maxi Kleber makes a speedy recovery, and he is back in the lineup in short order. Stay tuned for updates on the 6’10 forward’s knee injury, and get all the latest Dallas Mavericks news at The Smoking Cuban.

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