Case for Maxi Kleber being in the Dallas Mavericks starting five
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd made it clear during training camp that he prefers Kristaps Porzingis playing the four next to another big man. In part, the coaching staff do not want him absorbing the physical toll it takes to play the five in the NBA on a nightly basis.
Kidd has played a lot more single big man lineups when Kleber was sidelined with his oblique injury as the starting lineup has struggled. The 6’10 Kleber is the perfect answer between the two. He is big enough to guard the opposition’s center and yet gives Dallas the versatility of a wing.
Maxi Kleber has improved his 3-point percentage every year since coming to the NBA in the 2017-2018 season, and he shot 41.0 percent last year. The Mavs need that additional floor spacing as teams have been loading up to stop Luka Doncic with Dwight Powell in the game.
Kleber can also guard on the perimeter. Fans saw former head coach Rick Carlisle shift him into the starting lineup in the 2020 playoffs to matchup on Kawhi Leonard. Kleber’s combination of size and versatility gave Dallas the best chance at stopping the two-time NBA Finals MVP. That same versatility is why the Dallas Mavericks should start Maxi Kleber over Dwight Powell right now.