If you’re as big of a basketball fan as me, sometimes you like to mix your Big Ten viewership with a little bit of NBA action. From NBA veterans to rookies, it’s always fun to see former Big Ten players succeed at the next level. For this week’s roundup let’s take a look at Yogi Ferrell’s impressive play for the Dallas Mavericks and we’ll also go around the rest of the league.
-Yogi Ferrell (Dallas Mavericks):
Lately Yogi Ferrell has been playing the best basketball of his professional career. He scored a career-high 19 points while guarding Kyrie Irving, helping the Mavericks knock off the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. Ferrell, the former Indiana player, outscored Irving in the second game of a 10-day contract.
The night before the Cleveland matchup, Ferrell hit game clinching free throws in the final seconds of a win against the San Antonio Spurs. On Wednesday against the 76ers Ferrell’s scored 11 points and 5 assists in his third game for the Mavericks. During Ferrell’s three-game stretch he’s averaging 13 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists, with a player efficiency rating of 14.1.
Ferrell will continue to get more opportunities to shine with Mavericks starting point guard Deron Williams battling injuries. When Williams comes back, Ferrell’s role could diminish some, but you’d have to think Ferrell will still get plenty of run off the bench. Even if Ferrell gets less minutes he’s still in the Mavericks future plans: according to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com the Mavericks plan to offer Ferrell a two-year contract.
-Caris LeVert (Brooklyn Nets):
The Nets have lost nine of their past 10 games and have the worst record in the NBA at 9-40. But they do have a rookie in Caris LeVert that has impressed NBA scouts and executives across the league. In his last 10 games, LeVert is averaging 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 23 minutes of playing time. The former first round pick is shooting 50% from field in that stretch.
According to the RealGM the Nets are actively shopping Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez with the trade deadline coming up. If the Nets do find a suitor for either Lopez or Bogdanovic, LeVert’s playing time will increase. That also will open up more offensive usage for LeVert.
The Nets are obviously in rebuilding mode, it makes sense for LeVert to get more playing time even if they don’t make any moves at the trade deadline. I’m excited to watch LeVert continue to grow as a young player.
-Sam Dekker (Houston Rockets):
After missing 79 games during his rookie season due to back surgery, Sam Dekker has been playing excellent basketball for the Rockets. Compared to his rookie season, this season has been much more enjoyable for Dekker. His back is no longer an issue and he has worked his way into the Rockets’ rotation.
Dekker has not disappointed either, he’s averaging 7.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and shooting 47.5% from the field while playing 19.8 minutes per game. The Rockets have the third best record in the NBA and Dekker is playing an important role off the bench. It’s always fun to watch young players grow, especially when they’re making an impact on one of the better teams in the league.
Check in next week for more Big Ten updates from the professional leagues.