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Rick Carlisle rips O.J. Mayo’s inconsistent performances

Apr 16, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

O.J. Mayo AP

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

“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.

  1. stayhigh_247 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    The Bulls have been wanting him forever. I bet Thibs can get more out of him than Carlisle.

    • sprest83 - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Carlisle is one of the top coaches in the league.

      • conjecture101 - Apr 16, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        who told you that one? Stephen A Smith?

  2. ajonesmc931 - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Happy he’s out of memphis, he was DEADWEIGHT enjoy the offseason Dallas

  3. conjecture101 - Apr 16, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I will again reiterate: Nobody cares about PER. Not GM’s, Not Coaches, Not Fans. So whatever happens to OJ Mayo next season or in seasons beyond will have absolutely nothing to do with his PER rating.

    • sprest83 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Who told you that one? Stephen A Smith?

  4. progress2011 - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    This guy is a HUGE disappointment! In Memphis, he claimed he couldn’t take his game to the next level because Conley dominated the ball.

    Now he has EVERY opportunity to show his true value and dude has sank like the titanic….unable to take his game to the next level.

    However he has all the “POTENTIAL” in the world – good size, good skill set, good I.Q.


    Other players with great “POTENTIAL” – Joe Johnson(makes more than LBJ) and Tyreke Evans

    These 3 guys are playing with tiny marbles when guys like LBJ are playing with Leather Basketballs.

    That’s the difference in Men vs Boys !!!

    This guy is only worth slightly more than the league minimum and should be the 6th man….No Way is he a starter.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      As a diehard mavs fan i agree..i got so frustrated with him..i cant tell you how many times he somehow traps himself at the top of the key..or his lack of confidence after playing so well early on..

  5. observingii - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Conjecture is so right, PER is nothing more than an offensive metric that has no value in considering overall skills. And the clincher is in the last two columns: “Estimated” is the magic word. As long as any metric relies on “estimates” it isn’t worth the time to read. Marreese Speights is the No. 18-ranked PF? Get out!!!!!

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      PER is a nice snapshot stat for offense. It is not the end all be all, no stat is, but it can in a glance help you notice that a player has stepped up his game, stepped back or whatever. From there you can look at other statistics and watch the player in situation to see why this is. But for the purposes of this blog it works as an easy to relate number to make a point. If you don’t like it, ignore it.

      Of course, the guy who invented PER has an NBA front office gig now.

      • jrose606 - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        I love it when Kurt gets on the boards and slams one back in peoples faces.

      • jaerba - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:02 AM

        Why not just list their basic offensive stats then (like you already did in the opening paragraph)? PER is actually a pretty poor snapshot for offense and it’s all but useless for comparing anyone below the top levels. The difference between a player with 15 PER and 13 PER is completely unknowable without looking further into it. It’s just not a good descriptive stat.

        Knowing that OJ Mayo’s PER this season was 15.2 tells us nothing (which is wrong, btw – it’s 14.1.) His eFG% is up, his FT% is up and his PER is actually near the lowest of his career, because he’s playing with the Mavs, who have at least one better option, instead of the Grizzlies, who are starved for good offense. Carlisle thinks he’s playing uninterested but that’s OJ Mayo for you. He’s actually playing similarly, if not better, than he was on the Grizz, despite the lower PER.

        It doesn’t make the point you think it does, because it’s not particularly informative and it actually has very weak correlation with team performance. Tayshaun Prince and Shane Battier have very similar PERs this season (Prince’s is actually higher because of his time in anemic Detroit) but that tells you nothing about how they perform offensively nor what they contribute to their teams. They have like an eFG% difference of 15%, which is insane; Tayshaun mostly wins on quantity.

        Hollinger made his money on it by ignoring the criticism and having zero transparency. It worked well in terms of PR, but that doesn’t make it an advanced or particularly thoughtful metric. You can’t just blindly throw out stats without understand what they’re actually saying or meant to convey. PER is not about efficiency (in fact, it rewards inefficiency), it’s just a box score mashed and mangled into a single figure, based on arbitrary weights. You lower your own credibility by using it, and are just buying into ESPN’s marketing.

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