With Dirk Nowitzki out at the start of the season, a lot of responsibility fell on the shoulders of O.J. Mayo in Dallas. Faced with that he put up 16.4 points a game on 46.2 percent shooting overall and 41.6 percent from three (both percentages a career best). Not bad.
But he was still O.J. Mayo — inconsistent game to game, quarter to quarter.
Monday night, after Mayo had a lackluster game against his former team the Grizzlies, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle sounded like a guy who had had enough. The quotes are via Jeff Caplan at NBA.com.
“I don’t know. You should probably ask him. I’m not sure,” Carlisle said when asked why Mayo delivered such a disappointing effort. “He wasn’t into it in the first half. We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively and said, ‘Hey, we need you’; just tried to get him going a little bit. He just had a bad night. I guess I’ll write it off to that. But I tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go. I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s me, you know, that’s me.”
Okay. So coach, what about that entire season of up and down performances.
“Well, the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more [poor outing],” Carlisle said. “I just want to see him show up. I just want to see him show up and compete. He didn’t compete tonight. And I tell you, with all the time we’ve put into helping him develop and bringing him along, in the biggest game of the year – an opportunity to be a winning team – for him to show up like he did tonight, I was shocked. Look, sometimes guys have bad nights, so make sure to put that in there, too.”
Carlisle still could have another year of Mayo, who has a player option to return next season at $4.2 million. We’ll see what he decides, but he’s not going to make much more on the open market. Look at it this way, he had a career best PER this season of 15.2 — basically right at the league average. How much are teams going to pay for that kind of production?
Maybe someday Mayo puts it together and brings it every night. But if I’m a GM I’m not betting a lot on that.