Mavericks power forward Maxi Kleber is set to miss at least seven-to-10 days of action with an oblique muscle strain, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Caplan notes that the injury had initially been considered a back strain.
The 6’10” big man has primarily backed up starting power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who will also miss tonight’s home game against the visiting Heat. This season, the 29-year-old Kleber is averaging 7.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 1.2 BPG in just 18.8 MPG for Dallas.
There’s more availability news coming out of Dallas before tipoff tonight.
Caplan reports that Porzingis will also not play tonight against Miami, but adds that head coach Jason Kidd sounds optimistic Porzingis will be available for tomorrow’s contest against the Spurs. Porzingis has been sidelined by a back injury for the Mavericks’ past three games. Kidd said today that Porzingis was “progressing” in his recovery from the injury, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (via Twitter).
With Porzingis and Kleber both absent, tweener forward Dorian Finney-Smith looks to be the starter at power forward for Dallas. Reserve guard Jalen Brunson appears set to move into the starting lineup at shooting guard, while swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. would subsequently shift up a slot to starting small forward.
Reserve point guard Trey Burke did not comply with the league’s mandated COVID-19 testing window for the second time in the last four games, but is still set to travel with the club to San Antonio tonight, per Caplan. MacMahon tweets that Burke will now miss his second game of the young 2021/22 season due to not wanting to get vaccinated, and will not be compensated for this missed game.
Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (Twitter link) that Burke will miss out on $34,389 per each missed game as a result of not following COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players. Burke is earning $3.2MM this season and holds a $3.3MM player option for next season.