Carlisle Makes Clear That Deron Williams is the Starter
Deron Williams made his return for the Mavericks and to some’s surprise, regained his spot in the starting unit over Yogi Ferrell.
It was a little under two hours before tipoff and Carlisle was set for his ritual pre-game press conference. Quite naturally, the first question was about the status of the ‘game-time decision’ Deron Williams and he responded with “He is going to be active.”
But when asked if Williams would start, Carlisle calmly told the media, “You’ll have to find out at the normal time.”
A simple question of starting to some, but for a fan base that is wondering about the role of Yogi Ferrell, a much bigger question.
Williams would go on to start against the Magic where he would log 16 minutes of play and just play the first half. Ferrell found himself as the primary backup to Williams where he knocked down a few big three pointers off the bench.
Post-game, the situation around Williams and Ferrell in the starting unit was brought up by the media.
When asked by the media if it was a no-brainer to have D-Will as the starter over Yogi Ferrell, Carlisle responded with a simple, “Yeah.”
When Sefko, of SportsDay, asked Carlisle to elaborate, Rick went into a little more detail.
"“Because D-Will is a better player,” Carlisle said. “Let’s not forget how well he was playing before the injury. He was playing at a close to All-Star caliber. He was scoring it, passing it, defending.”"
Now I agree that Williams was playing impressive basketball before he went down, but All-Star caliber play? I don’t know if I would go that far.
Prior to the injury, Williams had scored in double-digit points in six of the last eight games while logging over seven assists in each of those eight games. The Mavericks record through that span was 5-3.
“We were getting out of our funk as a team and he had a lot to do with it,” Carlisle said when crediting Williams for helping the Mavs get back on track. But like many things in the sports world, a short memory is the only memory the majority of fans have and the only thing Mavs can remember right now is Yogi-mania.
Even though Ferrell came splashing onto the scene during Williams’ absence logging over 30 minutes a night, don’t expect that to be happening anytime soon as a bench role is the best suited for him in Carlisle’s opinion.
“At this point, Yogi has done a great job. The role that he had tonight is a perfect role for him,” Carlisle said.
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That role consisted of the primary backup to Williams at the point. Ferrell’s numbers for tonight are somewhat skewed do to Williams only playing the first half due to a minute restriction and the fact the Mavericks were up 30 points for the majority of the second half. So even though the box score has Ferrell at 32 minutes, it seems like the kid won’t be getting close to that as Williams continues to get back to full speed.
“He has proven that he can fill in as a starter, but Deron Williams is a two-time Olympic champion and one hell of a player. He is one of our better players.”
Carlisle seems to make it pretty clear that this is Deron Williams’ job. He is the starting point guard for the Dallas Mavericks.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Mid-Season Guard Grades
Yogi-mania was fun while it lasted in the starting unit, but as long as Deron Williams is playing, it looks like the mania will have to come with the second unit.