West Notes: Mavs, Timberwolves, Mike Conley, Thunder


  • There’s optimism that forward Maxi Kleber could make his “much-anticipated” return to the Mavericks’ lineup for Tuesday’s game vs. the Pacers, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line. Kleber has been sidelined since mid-December with a hamstring injury.
  • NBA teams were 138-0 when leading by at least 27 points this season, meaning the Mavs were the first to lose such a lead when they collapsed vs. the Lakers. As we relayed here, coach Jason Kidd had some strong words for his team.
  • Kidd, however, did offer some praise for recent pickup Justin Holiday. “He’s a pro,” Kidd said, via Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “He’s been in the league. Won a championship. He’s happy to be here and he’s going to do whatever it takes to help his team win.” 
  • In case you missed it, opposing execs seem to think Kyrie Irving wants a max deal this summer and is therefore most likely to return to Mavs. We have that full post here.


Point guard Mike Conley indicated there’s still work to be done before the Timberwolves can expect anything resembling a playoff run.

Conley was speaking after the Wolves dropped a decision to an extremely short-handed Warriors team on Sunday.

“We can talk about the last two minutes, but there’s a lot of things that go on … that set us up for those positions,” Conley said, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Youth will do that. You get guys worried about missing a shot and they turned it over and might be thinking about that particular play too long. Then they miss an assignment on the defensive end. It’s all little things that can be fixed.”


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