Mavericks Injury Report: Kleber In, Lively Out for Game 4

Regarding injuries, there is both good and bad news for the Dallas Mavericks before Game 4 of the Western Conference playoffs. Big man Maxi Kleber has been out for nine games because of an injury to his right shoulder he got in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers. However, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that he has been allowed to return. Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report says that center Dereck Lively II will not be able to play because he sprained his neck when Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns kneed him in the head in Game 3.

Dallas is up 3-0 in the series. A report from the NBA on Tuesday morning still says Kleber is iffy and Lively is doubtful.

There are three reliable centers for the Mavericks when they are in full health. Their more standard big men are Lively and Daniel Gafford. They control the paint and help Dallas win games by grabbing rebounds, making lob shots, and protecting the rim. Kleber, who has made 35.7% of his career three-point shots, is their surprise. It’s helpful to have him on hand to help spread out the court in small-ball lineups, especially since he can guard well on the perimeter. Besides that, he can play with Lively or Gafford.

mavericks injury
mavericks injury

It would be great if Dallas could get Kleber to play for a while in Game 4. Even though Gafford is the starter, he has only played 21.3 minutes per game on average in the playoffs. A big part of the Mavericks’ success is that they can switch Gafford and Lively in and out so that they’re always fresh. Lively might be too much for Kleber to handle, but having him there could help them limit Gafford’s without having to use backup center Dwight Powell, who played eight minutes in Game 3.

Must Read: Mavericks Vs. Celtics NBA Finals Game 4 Predictions And Expert Picks: Boston Will Try To Win It All

On June 6, the NBA Finals start. DFW would love to beat Minnesota on Tuesday and then take the week off to make sure Lively and Kleber are as healthy as possible.

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