I mentioned in my last article that Jason Terry will have something to prove when the Dallas Mavericks face him and the Boston Celtics tonight. However, he is not the only player who will want to prove a point; O.J. Mayo also has a statement to make.
Mayo was signed during this past off-season to replace Terry, who left Dallas for Boston. Unlike Terry had when he came to Dallas, Mayo has been playing his first season, so far, without the Mavs’ superstar, Dirk Nowitzki.
People want to compare the likeness of Mayo to Terry, but the truth is Mayo has surpassed Terry, thus far because Mayo is playing without Nowitzki and he is leading the team by himself night in and night out.
That is something Terry did not have the eight years he was with the Mavericks. Yes, there were games in which he was in a groove and led the team to victory, but he did not do that on a consistent bases.
Mayo is playing with consistency. Thus far, he is averaging 20.8 points per game and he’s 53% from behind the arc and is 48.7% from the field.
In Terry’s first year with the Mavericks he only averaged 12.4 points per game because he wasn’t consistent on a nightly bases.
Before anybody brings up the fact Terry was not a starter, he was given starter minutes. Plus he started in 57 of the 80 games he played his first year with the Mavericks, so that sixth man stuff is out the window.
Do not get me wrong, Terry played great when he was a Maverick. He was the main reason that the Mavs won Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals, which led them to their first championship in club history.
Right now it is looking like the Mavs made the right decision in signing Mayo instead of Terry. Mayo is young and has more potential in being an All-Star player than Terry was when he was on the team.
As mentioned, this game means just as much to Mayo as it does to Terry. He may not say it publicly, but Mayo knows that the reason why he was brought in was to fill the hole that Terry left. Again, thus far he is doing that.
Fans know what Mayo can be and what Mayo cannot be. The last few years with his previous team, Memphis Grizzlies, he declined in his performances.
However, right now he is playing up to what he was thought to be when he was drafted third overall in 2008. He knows if he screws up and his stats decline throughout this year and next that he could be without a job in the coming years. That is why tonight Mayo will need to out perform Terry.
If Mayo performs the way he has been and the Mavericks beat the Celtics, the win will mean more to the eyes of Mavs fans than it would if the Celtics beat the Mavs. Mayo does not want to show Mavs fans that the team made a mistake in bringing him in. That is why this game may mean a little bit more to him than it does to Terry.