Rick Carlisle has often been one of those coaches you have to read between the lines a bit to interpret his true thoughts, often taking personal blame for team losses. However after last nights 107-93 loss to Memphis at home, Rick didn't hesitate to call out O.J. Mayo's 1-6 shooting/4 turnover performance during a post game interview:
[Mayo] wasn’t into it the first half...We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively. We said, ‘Hey, we need you,’ tried to get him going a little bit...He just had a bad night; I guess I will write it off to that. But I will tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s just me...He didn’t compete tonight.
With all the time that we have put into helping him develop and bringing him along, for him, 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. Sometimes guys have bad nights so make sure and put that in there, too.
The Dallas Morning News also reported that O.J. Mayo essentially snuck out of the locker room before reporters were allowed in.
I've been a Mayo apologist for much of the second half of the season as he showed some some flashes of greatness. I've argued to keep him as the Mayo/Carter rotation has seemed functional. But something has clearly gone wrong. He's lost his way. O.J.'s been wildly inconsistent over the course of the last 10 games and most of the second half of the season. In the last 8 games, Mayo has shot .333 or under 6 times. On March 30th vs Chicago, we pulled out a victory despite a 1-13 shooting performance from him. It's hard to find reasons to keep him when you just don't know which Mayo will be showing up for the game.
As such, I think Wednesday's season closer will be the last we see see of Mayo as a Maverick. I mean, Rick Carlisle was heaping praise on Lamar Odom pretty much up to the day Cuban sent him packing. For him to criticize Mayo publicly is surely a sign his future is in limbo. It has been a forgone conclusion to date that Mayo would opt out and might be worth more on the free agent market than the Mavericks were willing to spend. Now, I'm thinking the only chance we'll see him back in Mavericks blue is if he chooses not to opt out and be willing to play off the bench. And even then, I wonder if his value to the team might be more due to his potential trad-ability rather than his performance on the floor.