So as I was saying earlier today, the key to the Mavericks this playoff series is starting Maxi Kleber. They need his defensive presence, not more offense!
No? OK, fine. I am here to confess.
I wrote a post that dropped this morning talking about my dislike for the Mavericks abandoning their supercharged small-ball starting lineup for a more balanced approach with Kleber starting next to Kristaps Porzingis. My theory was the Mavericks should stick to what their good at and ride their historic offense at all costs, since Kleber likely isn’t going to slow down Kawhi Leonard, despite Kleber’s best efforts.
In Game 2 against the Clippers, the Mavericks took my piece, lit it on fire, gave me a wedgie and then dunked my head in the toilet. Please forgive me.
Kleber was outstanding. Like I speculated in my piece (to give me like, some credit), the Mavericks banked on Kleber replicating his effort, where he contested Leonard well, and banking on the ball bouncing better for the Mavericks. It happened, with Leonard missing some shots in the first half and only (with only doing a lot of work) shooting 10-of-21 from the field. Because Leonard is a terminator, he still had 35 points, but it was not nearly as effective as the scoring from Game 1.
Even Kleber’s offense, which I figured had to improve if the Mavericks wanted to keep starting him, didn’t do much. He scored four points and missed both his two pointers. Yet, he was a plus-14 in 33 minutes because he guarded well, grabbed 10 rebounds and made the right pass with three assists. I am a colossal moron.
It’d be bad enough if I was just super dumb about the starting lineup, which, again, played well. The Mavericks got off to a 15-2 start! To pour the final pieces of dirt on my grave, Boban Marjanovic made a massive impact with 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
“Everyone loves Boban though, why are you in trouble Josh?” you might say. Well, well, well.......
this powell injury does bring up though why I wasn't a huge boban guy last summer. You'd preferably want your second big off the bench to able to step into more minutes if an injury happens.— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) January 22, 2020
I'm about to get cancelled by Mavs Twitter but......— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) October 10, 2019
I hope boban doesn't play a lot this season.
Hahahaha I’m pretty good at knowing basketball right guys.
Anyway, Boban was terrific. I have no idea why the Clippers didn’t attack him more on defense, but with Kleber starting next to Porzingis it means Boban has to play. He’s the only big on the bench in that scenario, so he needs to give the Mavericks good minutes. He didn’t just give them good minutes in Game 2, but great minutes. Boban changed the game when he checked in during the first half and helped Dallas build a cushion while Doncic rested.
I am humbled. Everyone feel free to drag me as long as you want. If it makes you feel any better, I am very, very cool with being wrong on this one. Wrong never felt so right, am I right? No? OK, I’ll go back in the corner.
In conclusion, I am the personification of the reaping and sowing tweet. Have a great day everyone, go Mavs.