On the heels of a tough OJ Mayo game, the MMB staff gathered to discuss what to expect from Mayo, and what to do with him when the season's over. Here some of the highlights of that conversation, presented without (much) curation:
Alan Smithee: I believe the real issue with Dallas here is Mayo(and Collison)'s failure as pick and roll operators. The assumption that Dirk will make Mayo and Collison better passers seems to lay at least some of the blame at the feet of the guys stepping in for Dirk, which I think is a bit unfair. I see plenty of other teams encountering double teams and yet, objectively, Mayo has performed very poorly in relation to his peers when passing out of them.
I think skills can be polished, approaches altered(or tamed), and the body can be trained to better suit either power or speed. I don't think BBIQ can be fixed, or taught...at least, not half a decade into a professional career.
Is Dirk going to put a bandaid over general inefficiency in the offense? God I hope(and believe) so. However, Dallas plucked two very talented but seemingly ill-fitted guards from the bargain bin this offseason, and the early-returns suggest they're still ill-fitted. Which is why I'm hoping Dallas is prepared to let these guys walk...or get creative enough to somehow fit Mayo into their salary structure as a third option, not a secondary one.
Tim Cato: I tend to be on board with the "Dirk cures a lot" camp. Kaman and Marion can be good PnR combos but neither of them pick and pop like Dirk does...
Josh Bowe: (In terms of Mayo's Pickles and Rolls): I think what hurts is that defenses are completely OK with Marion or Kaman getting free in pick and rolls. The double-teams are pretty hard, no matter how high they run that screen and roll. Teams are trapping multiple feet beyond the three point arc because there aren't enough threats around the floor. What are defenses going to do? Cover Kaman, Marion or some bad shooters behind the arc (Fisher, Collison, Jones, etc) or double-team a 20 ppg scorer who is leading the league in three point shooting.
I'm not trying to excuse his awful pick and roll play at times, because it has been awful and inconsistent. I just think we shouldn't necessarily be surprised. He's been a bad pick and roll player his whole career, even with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Marion and Kaman weren't going to magically help. Dirk should help, but he'll still be inconsistent.
You know what Dallas needs? They fucking need Deron Williams to run pick and rolls and designate Mayo as a third-option/spot up shooter. Fuck me.
Andy Tobo: Mayo's been mostly good and sometimes pretty bad---clearly struggles with double-teams, turns it over a ton. So I understand worrying about what you'd have to pay him. But at some point, given that the salary structure insures that the big guys will be offered the exact same contracts from everywhere, the Mavs are going to have to have something to convince anyone to ever show up. Advanced stats might mean a 20 point scorer isn't a 20 point scorer any more, but in some ways the always are--- and there's no question that he's the most gifted scorer the Mavs have gotten in some years. If they lived with Terry's flaws, they can live with his especially now that they have NOTHING else. I'm really looking forward to seeing him with Dirk. Maybe the doubleteams have toughened him up to destroy single teams.
J-Tjarks (the new guy!): I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see the Mavs being in the running for a max player next summer. I'm not sure there's going to be a better use of money than paying Mayo.
Even if LA completely implodes, they'll just rebuild around Howard going forward. When has a star player ever left the Lakers in free agency? You think Adidas is going to be cool with him walking away from that market? Chris Paul is doing nationwide State Farm ads these days; he's not leaving LA either.
Unless anyone feels comfortable rolling the dice on Bynum?