In the second half of Thursday night's game, the Dallas Mavericks lost Shawn Marion and Chris Kaman to injury, and they let the Phoenix Suns tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Dallas looked as if they would blow a double-digit lead and lose a heartbreaker to the Suns.
Mayo proved that he can be a closer on this team. The shot he hit was a tough midrange shot that not a lot of NBA players can hit in the clutch. Of course, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry were a part of those kinds of plays countless times over the years. But Nowitzki is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, and Terry is in Boston.
But even with Dirk returns, Mayo can be a guy that the Mavs go to in the final minutes of crunch time. He has incredible shot-making ability, as shown by his 21-foot heavily-contested jumper over Suns guard Sebastian Telfair that gave the Mavs the lead for good late in Thursday night's game.
Mayo has been sloppy with the ball in certain situations, especially when double-teamed, but his assists have gone up when he has been able to effectively pass out of the double team. He is unselfish player, as well as a very well-rounded player. However, head coach Rick Carlisle has stated that he wants Mayo with the ball in his hands on offense. When he does and he is hot, Mayo can carry the Mavs, especially without Dirk.
His 52 3-pointers are second in the NBA. More importantly, Mayo has been the only Mav to start in all of Dallas' games so far this year. He has been the model of consistency for a team that is desperately trying to hang on in the Western Conference without its former MVP.
For the Dallas Mavericks to continue to improve, especially in maintaining leads and coming through in late crunch time situations, the ball has to go through #32.
It'd be silly for Carlisle not to be thinking the same thing.
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