Mayo Is Bringing The Mustard

— With Dirk Nowitzki still on the mend from knee surgery, O.J. Mayo has been driving the Mavericks offense all season. So it wasn’t as if dropping 40 on the heads of the Rockets Saturday night was a revelation.

“What he’s showing over the first 20 games is he has the ability to carry a team at times,” said coach Rick Carlisle. “He’s showing a strong-willed mentality and he’s really hungry to win.”

There were times, of course, when Mayo filled up the basket in his first four seasons in Memphis. But he never did it as consistently and couldn’t seem to find a place as either a starter or reserve to fit into the Grizzlies rotation.

Through the first quarter of the season in Dallas, Mayo is playing like the best bargain in the league after signing on with a two-year, $8 million deal. By hitting 15 of his 26 shots against the Rockets — including 16 in the fourth quarter when Dallas rallied from 11 down — Mayo had his third game of the season with 30 or more points, his seventh with more than 25 and his 11th at 20 or more.

“O.J. [Mayo] is definitely on the kind of roll where he’s putting the team on his back,” said Derek Fisher. “He’s playing at an unbelievable level. It sounds simple, but I think O.J. just wants to win.”

Especially against the Rockets. Mayo says that he and James Harden are buddies who’ve been playing against each other since they were pre-teens, and worked out together during last year’s labor lockout. With Harden pouring in 39 in the shootout, obviously there weren’t a lot of defensive drills in those workouts. Then again, who needs defense?

Mayo scored 16 in the fourth quarter, including a critical 3-pointer off an inbounds pass from Fisher with 38.4 seconds to go and the Mavs protecting a two-point lead.

There’s a difference to the way Mayo is playing this season: more confident, more forceful and shooting a career-best 47.3 percent.

“I pretty much know my role,” he said. “It’s a lot more comfortable here. It’s a comfortable setting, a comfortable locker room. Cubes [team owner Mark Cuban] did a great job in making sure players very comfortable and coaching staff is great. I’ve never felt better since I’ve been in the NBA.”

Evidently, the way all the Mavs are following him, it shows.


  1. Patrickmarc says:

    Dirk and Mayo, better than Dirk and Terry may be

  2. NBAfan says:

    Good for Mayo to find a place where he can showcase what he can do….sorry that once Dirk comes will all be might as well be the Grizzlies all over again for Mayo..

  3. may-o says:

    Correct me if im wrong, i recall OJ being the only rookie that came close to Derrick Rose on the ROY race during their freshman year. He could be an all star this year together with Harden.

  4. Kamote says:

    So would he be taking Terry’s role as sixth man when Dirk comes back?

  5. JuiceManMemphis says:

    The talent was always there, but it require a coach willing to nurcher those talents so he could blossom. He was merely the odd man with the Grizzlies. They paid out so much money to others, they knew it would be impossible to sign him. So you limit his minutes and his role to lower his value. The move was necessary for him to showcase the talent we all knew he had. This isn’t anything new because he was putting up these number in Memphis before he was relegated to the bench.

  6. Nahu says:

    OJ is a beast! He’s been scoring 30,40,27,33!!! How???

  7. OrangeJuice Mayo says:

    OJ is the BEST! I AM SOO GLAD he left Grizzlies cuz i knew OJ had it in him and now its his time to shine!!!!

  8. Game Time says:

    I always thought Mayo was playing below his capabilities. I guess some guys just need the right team or coach to play for. Hope he can keep it up to have a great career.

  9. Life says:

    Oj should have stayed with the Grizzles.

  10. Hunter says:

    Dallas Mavs will be a darkhouse this year. 20 games into the season and they still don’t have Dirk. GO MAVS!!

  11. chonun says:

    should be an all star this feb.

  12. Zetch says:

    It was sad to see OJ leave the Grizzlies. However I believe it was a necessary move for him and now he is showcasing his talents. Memphis will always have a place for you, Juice.

  13. Lola says:

    I’m really glad for OJ Mayo, his talent was never really in doubt just his maturity. Its ironical, but this turnaround kind of reminds me of Zach Randolph when he found his niche with Grizzlies. I really hope that he keeps playing at this level. I do love when somebody proves the establishment wrong.

    • Carl says:

      I agree 100%. It’s good to see him living up to the potential.

      • Mino says:

        I don’t think he is, I still think he has some more room to improve still. he’s come a long way though obviously. I definitely think he can but up dwyane wade type numbers, maybe without his blocks and rebounds, but definitely.

  14. JSK says:

    the title of this article is the most interesting thing on this page