In three games, Maxi Kleber did not do much for the Dallas Mavericks. In Game 4 of the West Finals, however, the knot broke and the Mavs immediately won over the Golden State Warriors. If Kleber confirms his warm hand, Dallas still has a chance in this series.
Friday night, the Mavs are once again fighting for survival in the West Finals. After 1-3 in the series against the Warriors, Dallas is doomed to victory. Game 5 is live tonight at 03.00 DAZN!
They have not given up hope in Dallas, why should they? Hardly anyone had expected the Texans in the conference final, after the three defeats in the start against the Warriors to be pushed away anyway. “We take it match by match,” Luka Doncic said of the approach to the upcoming match (s).
Mavs are now 1-3 in the West Finals against the Dubs, who comfortably won the first three games on paper. But it could also be argued that Dallas itself should lead 3-1 in this series, judging by the website data Shot quality want to trust.
The creators have developed an analysis tool that uses the thrower and the position on the court to determine a percentage of the probability of a throw going through the trap. Based on this, the ShotQuality Score and the probability of winning the game are calculated. This is very similar to the method of expected goals in football.
Mavs achieved a better ShotQuality Score in every game and should have won every other game except Game 1 (50:50) if they had hit their shots as expected. So it’s not an empty sentence from coach Jason Kidd, as he repeatedly emphasized in his PKs that the team would play good throws.
Maxi Kleber on Mavs: sometimes hot, sometimes cold
The open throws are mostly due to role players like Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock or Maxi Kleber, who benefited from Luka Doncic’s gravity and Mavs’ strategy of playing primarily with five shooters.
Kleber is the pulse of the Mavs, so to speak, and his stats are usually a good indicator of whether Dallas has won or lost. If he throws a lot, if he hits well, then the Mavs usually win and look like a finalist. The Texans are aware of that. “I told him he was going to throw ten times. Honestly, I’m glad the ball went through the ring for him again,” Finney-Smith said after the 119-109 win in Game 4.
Not much went on in the first three games, Kleber lowered only two of his 14 shots, all three. The 30-year-old must have been relieved when the first two attempts in match 4 went through the trap. Kleber ultimately had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks and lowered five of his six throws, including the first three attempts from the two-pointer area.
“I have to keep throwing when I’m open,” Kleber says. “It’s the right game, I have to take a shot.” In the playoffs, Big Man now stands at 43.4 percent from Downtown at 4.5 attempts per game. The difference between victory and defeat is striking. In the case of victories, Kleber hits just under 58 percent, in the case of bankruptcies only cold 29 percent.
The Mavs also look similarly bad when distance throws from Kleber and Co. does not fall. This can only be hidden to a limited extent by his defense. Kleber’s attack currently consists almost exclusively of spaces for Doncic, though he is still an underrated roller coaster.
Maxi Kleber: The only Big Kidd to trust
Kleber generates 1.36 points per. play from pick’n’roll in the playoffs, most obviously as a pick’n’pop from the row of three, but he also has the athleticism to run to the basket, though this is rarely the case. At age 30, he has gotten a little worse physically after a few injuries and is hardly a threat anymore, but Kleber with his 3-and-D qualities is irreplaceable for Dallas.
Dwight Powell continues to start but is almost unplayable, behind him there is actually only glue on the big positions. Marquese Chriss and Boban Marjanovic do not matter, Davis Bertans is great, but in defense is exactly what Patrick Beverley said Chris Paul was – a cone.
Kleber is the opposite, only a few big ones have as good footwork as the former Bayern pro, who also acts as a ring protector, but unfortunately is also exposed to (unnecessary) errors. In addition to his susceptibility to injury, this is also one of the reasons Kleber only broke the 30-minute mark four times in those playoffs.
With the exception of Game 2 in San Francisco, these were all Mavs victories, another sign of the German’s importance. Although his influence against Golden State is slightly less than he was against Phoenix, given the Warriors’ dynamic guards in Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole, who can beat Kleber one-on-one, he is still a better option than Powell.
Despite this, Kidd will not change his starting five. Why? Dallas was not as hopeless as the temporary 0-3, and the blowouts could have hinted. Kleber also knows this: “In game 2 we had a great lead, we should have won it. In game 3 we shot badly. We have the means to beat Golden State. We just have to stay confident.”
Warriors vs. Mavericks: Series overview
|1||May 19||3 o’clock||Golden State Warriors||Dallas Mavericks||112: 87|
|2||21 May||3 o’clock||Golden State Warriors||Dallas Mavericks||126: 117|
|3||May 23||3 o’clock||Dallas Mavericks||Golden State Warriors||100: 109|
|4||May 25||3 o’clock||Dallas Mavericks||Golden State Warriors||119: 109|
|5||May 27||3 o’clock||Golden State Warriors||Dallas Mavericks||–|
|6 *||May 29||3 o’clock||Dallas Mavericks||Golden State Warriors||–|
|7 *||May 31||2 o’clock||Golden State Warriors||Golden State Warriors||–|