Mavericks’ Maxi Kleber is set to return for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals

Maxi Kleber Mavs pic
Maxi Kleber Mavs pic

With a 3-0 lead in the Conference Finals, the Dallas Mavericks are one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. The team stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves in Games 1 and 2 on the road. Dallas had a 2-0 series lead heading back home to play two games. The Mavs won Game 3 and have put themselves in a position to compete for the Larry O’Brien trophy. 

In Game 3 vs. the Timberwolves, backup center Derrick Lively took an inadvertent knee to the back of his head from Karl-Anthony Towns. Lively was not 100% and was taken into concussion protocol after it happened. Additionally, he had to be helped off the court. The rookie big man is now out for Game 4 with a neck strain. However, the Mavs are expected to get one player back for Game 4 of the WCF. Maxi Kleber has been out since May 3 with a shoulder injury. NBA insider Shams Charania reported that Kleber is set to return for Dallas tonight.

Can Maxi Kleber have an impact this postseason for the Mavericks?

Maxi Kleber has played for the Mavericks in all seven of his NBA seasons. He played in 43 games during the 2023-24 regular season and made seven starts. Kleber averaged (4.4) points, (3.3) rebounds, and (1.6) assists per game. In the past, Kleber had a bigger role for Dallas. However, he’s still a player that head coach Jason Kidd can rely on. The 32-year-old has played in 37 career postseason games and has made 10 starts.

With Derrick Lively going down with a neck injury, Maxi Kleber is returning at the perfect time for the Mavericks. This postseason, the team has been evenly splitting the minutes between Lively and starting center Daniel Gafford. Both averaging 21 minutes per game. Now that Lively is out for at least Game 4, the Mavs need another player to step up. At six-foot-ten, Kleber is not a traditional center that puts his back to the basket. Kleber has an exceptional touch from range and helps space the floor for the Mavericks.

The veteran big man has not played since May 3 when he initially dislocated his AC joint. Dallas making a deep run in the playoffs has given Kleber enough time to get healthy. The Mavericks are one win away from making the NBA Finals. They could close out the Timberwolves tonight at home. Max Kleber will be returning for the first time in three and a half weeks. How much of an impact can he have in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals?

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