Published: Tue, January 31, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Four Things from the Maverick mopping of the Cleveland Cavaliers, 104-97

After starting 3-15, Dallas has played.500 ball since and is within striking distance of the eighth seed in the Western Conference despite a makeshift lineup, which on Monday included rookie point guard Yogi Ferrell scoring a career-high 19 points in the second game of a 10-day contract.

Last Friday afternoon, Yogi Ferrell and his Long Island Nets teammates were in Eric, Pa, preparing to play a National Basketball Association Development League game against the Erie Bayhawks.

The Indianapolis native signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets on November 9, seeing action in 10 games and averaging 5.4 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per contest before being waived on December 8. "About five or six hours before, my agent called me and said the Mavericks are going to sign you to a 10-day". "The first thing was I was just thinking they were normal free throws in the first quarter".

"I am on Cloud Nine right now", he added. Deron Williams is dealing with a toe injury and J.J. Barea is likely out until the All-Star break with a calf injury, so Ferrell could continue to see starts if Williams is out for more games. I am living the dream right now. LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting while Kyrie Irving added 18 points and five assists but made six turnovers, only one fewer than the entire Mavericks' squad. I couldn't be doing it with a better group of guys right here.

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday, hosting the Philadelphia 76ers. Nowitzki has been a large part of the team's resurgence that has snuffed out any talk of tanking the season.

By Mavericks' head coach Rick Carlisle's own admission, Dallas isn't the most talented team in the league.

"We're a sh** team, but we're an underrated sh** team", Carlisle said on Monday night. "That's about as accurately as I can put it".

The dynamic back-to-back performances by Ferrell helped the Mavericks become the only team to defeat the Spurs and Cavaliers this season on consecutive nights. But in a season where there is so much talent at the top of the Western Conference, and with nearly no hope of getting anything higher than the eighth seed, it may make more in the long run for the Mavericks to position themselves for the upcoming draft.

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