O.J. Mayo’s totally cool with Lionel Hollins

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O.J. Mayo is in a slump. O.J. Mayo is no longer a starter. O.J. Mayo is on the trade block.

And O.J. Mayo says he’s totally cool with Lionel Hollins about all this. Mayo started off the year with a shooting slump, and Hollins decided to move him to the bench for when his scoring came back. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Mayo’s dip in scoring also coincides with a decrease in field-goal attempts in each of his three NBA seasons. He’s averaging 11.3 shots per game, which is down from 14 last season and 15 during Mayo’s rookie campaign.

But the Mayo bench situation has been underwhelming even though the Griz reserves averaged 27.8 points in the 10 games since Mayo became a reserve.

Hollins and Mayo agree that Mayo has made the most sacrifice of anyone on the roster. Hollins and Mayo agree that Mayo needs to play with more confidence as his move to the bench was based on the 6-3 guard’s scoring mindset.

Mayo also insists he still is on board with what Hollins is preaching.

“That’s our man,” Mayo said of Hollins. “We’ve let the owner, we let everyone know this is the guy we want to play for. We’ve been in a lot of winnable games. We’ve just got to start winning. Whatever our role is, whatever the dynamic of the team is, we’ve got to accept it and go hard. We feel like we’re a good team. We’ve just got to stick to the script.”

via Analysis: Grizzlies say they’ve put their issues behind them » The Commercial Appeal.

Just so we’re clear on this, Mayo’s not shooting as well because he’s not getting as many shots. He’s a rhythm shooter. He needs to be a functioning part of the offense. What could be taking that role away from him? I’ve got $40 million ideas.

You can actually notice some pretty bad body language on the floor with Mayo during the game. He seems tuned out, down, and generally disappointed with how this year is going. But it’s good to know he’s not blaming his coach for it. He’s maintained his status as a professional, even as his career has taken a downturn. Of course, when Mayo is inevitably traded, he’ll probably perk up a bit as he drops 30 on the Grizzlies each time they play.

Yup. Those are the Grizzlies.

 

 

Chris Paul’s son joins him on Clippers bench in rout of Lakers (video)

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Is this disrespectful to the Lakers? Absolutely.

And I love it.

Chris Paul and the Clippers crushed their Los Angeles counterparts, 133-109, last night. The Clippers, who’ve won 13 of 14 in the series, have practically run out of ways to show up their crosstown rival on the court. If it now takes bench visitors, so be it.

This is the best late-blowout bench behavior since LeBron James led the Cavaliers in the water-bottle challenge in a December win over the Knicks. This would rank higher if Chris Jr. didn’t also joined the bench in the Clippers’ November win over the Mavericks, which is the pictured on this post.

Jawun Evans leaving Oklahoma State for NBA draft

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You’ve probably heard of the top college point guards for the 2017 NBA draft: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. You might have even heard of French point guard prospect Frank Ntilikina.

Which point guard will be drafted next after those six?

One possibility: Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Evans looks like a second-round pick, but a dearth of point guards projected into the latter half of the first round could boost his stock.

He’s ultra quick and ultra aggressive and led the nation’s top KenPom offense. Evans relentlessly attacks the rim, often while forcing transition opportunities. That gets defenses scrambled, creating kickout-passing lanes and offensive-rebound opportunities.

However, the 6-foot Evans doesn’t finish that well at the rim – creating a major question about how he’ll translate to the NBA. The bigger defenders in the paint might limit his kickout passes, too.

His size also presents major problems defensively, though a 6-foot-4 wingspan at least helps.

Evans is good enough on jumpers to keep defenses honest, and at Oklahoma State, he had to create so much for himself. It’d be interesting to see whether limiting his burden improves his efficiency or whether his helpfulness is limited to having the ball in his hands.

My guess is the latter, and I’m unconvinced he’s good enough to demand such a role in the NBA. But the possibility is strong enough that I’d be excited about rolling the dice on him in the second round.

Shabazz Muhammad awkwardly mentions Collective Bargaining Agreement during halftime interview (video)

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The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.

Muhammad:

We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Um. What?

To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.

hat tip: reddit user cjsplash

Duke’s Jayson Tatum, California’s Ivan Rabb declare for NBA draft

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Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.

As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.

Duke announced Tatum’s decision.

Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?

Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.