Dallas Mavericks: Yogi Ferrell was the Surprise of the Season
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks season was marred with disappointment and growing pains, but that does not mean that there was a lack of excitement from the team in some areas. Yogi Ferrell was one reason this team managed entertainment value.
This NBA season was full of a lot good stuff from the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki played an incredibly healthy season at 39 years old, Dennis Smith Jr. showed a lot of what Mavs fans hoped for from him and J.J. Barea continued his ageless play, looking like the Mavs best player on the court on multiple occasions throughout the season.
Let’s take a look at a couple other things that were surprising this season before we talk about the most rewarding surprise of the season. There were a lot of good things and bad things this year that were surprising for the Mavs, but only a few really stuck out.
1. The Mavs close game record
This NBA season was so strange for the Dallas Mavericks who could have legitimately won 15 more games in the season and no one would’ve been surprised. Of the 30 NBA teams, only the Miami Heat played in more close games than the Mavs (53 to 50) but no one had fewer wins or more losses than Dallas.
This could be looked at as a team with no closing ability or a team who knew they had to lose. My guess is the latter. There is no reason to believe Dallas’ season could have been wildly different if they had won a few of those close games early on. If Dallas had won even half of their close games this year, they wouldn’t be in third in the draft lottery, they would be in 11th.
As you can see, this was a surprising result but it was good despite being bad.
2. Dwight Powell played worthy of his contract
Powell played far and away the best ball of his career this season. He earned every minute that he was on the court and proved to be a real threat above the rim. His decision making improved drastically and he caught the ball as well as anyone on the court.
There has been a lot of hate for Dwight Powell in the Mavs fanbase but the truth is he played extremely well this year. It will be fun to see what the big man can do for his game this summer because any more improvement at this point is just added bonus to a good role player.
3. Yogi Ferrell is an NBA level backup point guard
There is no doubt in my mind that Yogi Ferrell was the most exciting surprise for the Dallas Mavericks this year. In a season full of interesting calls and changes, the truth is that Yogi cemented his spot in the NBA with a very good case at a decent contract. Dallas would be foolish to let him walk though.
Yogi went from an undrafted rookie getting cut from the Brooklyn Nets to an important bench player (and often times starter) for the Mavs. No one was really sure if Ferrell would be able to carry over his success from last season but he became a staple in the Mavs lineups and a favorite for Coach Carlisle.
Yogi is a free agent this summer and will likely get offers from some other teams. If Dallas is smart, they will recognize that Yogi doesn’t just bring great play to the court, he also brings hustle, intelligence, entertainment, and tenacity that the Mavericks really need from him. Yogi may be able to get a better offer on the market, but Dallas should be ready to match most offers.
Next: The Dallas Mavericks Offseason Fork in the Road
It was not a great season for Dallas, but Yogi certainly made it more entertaining. Hopefully that entertainment will be accompanied with more wins.