Dallas Mavericks forward/center Maxi Kleber missed his second straight game Friday with a right hamstring tear. Meanwhile, as far as treatment options go, the Mavs aren’t sure what avenue Kleber will pursue.
“That’s between the medical (staff) and him right now with the process and what’s going to take place here,” coach Jason Kidd said before Friday’s 130-110 win over Portland. “And I think that’ll come out here shortly.”
Kidd said Kleber was injured during Tuesday’s practice on a non-contact play when he was just dribbling the basketball up the floor.
“I think he hyperextended his knee, and I think when he was dribbling that caused the injury,” Kidd said. “It’s just a freak injury. I’ve seen this injury before with (Milwaukee’s) Khris Middleton.
“It’s just a freak thing that happens. You never want to see that happen with no contact. It is what it is. We have to deal with it and we have to move forward.”
Kleber is averaging 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game. He also is the Mavs’ best interior defender.
“He’s one of our key guys,” center Dwight Powell said. “His energy and effort, first and foremost, was so consistent in terms of bringing us that juice. Defensively, he’s a great defender — one-on-one — great shot blocker.
“His ability to work within our coverages to really make it tough on guys is one of his most valuable contributions to the team. It’s definitely difficult to lose a guy like that, so we’re going to have to find ways to still be successful and fill that void, so it’s on everybody to step up.”
At the time of Kleber’s injury, Kidd said: “He might have told a couple of guys. But the team, I don’t think as a whole, knew how serious the injury was.”
Kidd also said Kleber is “disappointed” he won’t be able to help the Mavs on the floor.
“He’s about the team,” Kidd said. “He wants to help the team. We’re going to miss him a lot on both ends.”
Powell, who left Friday’s game in the third quarter with a left thigh contusion, credits Kleber for always being right where he needs to be on the offensive end of the court.
“He’s one of the guys that follows our principles very closely and knows how to operate in our system and does so very efficiently,” Powell said. “So, there’s a lot that he brings to the table that we’re going to miss.
“But he’s still on the team, he’s still here, so he’s still contributing. He wants to see us be successful, so his voice will be important now more than ever.”
Kidd said JaVale McGee, who was the Mavs’ opening day starter at center, will have “the opportunity to eat up some of the minutes” that went to Kleber.
“As you know injuries are a part of this,” Kidd said. “You’re going to get another opportunity to play, and that’s where JaVale sits right now.
“He was out of the rotation. Injuries will now bring him back into the rotation and we believe that he’s going to play at a high level for us.”
GREEN TRAVELING WITH THE MAVS: Guard Josh Green missed his fourth straight game Friday with a right elbow sprain. But he will travel with the Mavs on this upcoming four-game road trip hoping he’ll be able to play at some point during the trip.
“The best timetable is after we get a practice in,” coach Jason Kidd said. “Then we’ll have a better understanding of when he’ll be back playing.”
“Hopefully, he’ll have the opportunity to practice on this trip,” Kidd said. “If not, we’ll be back here (in Dallas) and hopefully have a practice so that he can have one under his belt to see where he’s at.”
BRIEFLY: Because Saturday’s high school state championship football games will be televised live on Bally Sports Southwest, Saturday’s game in Cleveland between the Mavs and Cavs will be televised on TXA-21. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. . .Christian Wood came off the bench and scored 20 of his season-high 32 points in the first half Friday. He also grabbed a season-high tying 12 rebounds.
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