Saturday, January 5, 2013
O.J. Mayo's challenge: Stay aggressive, cut turnovers
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS – O.J. Mayo snapped out of his shooting slump during the Mavericks’ recent road trip and he thinks he has a solution to solve his turnover issues.
“I’ve just got to be aggressive,” Mayo said. “Sometimes the pass may be there or may not be there and I’d be better off shooting the ball.”
Shoot more, pass less might not be exactly what coach Rick Carlisle had in mind for Mayo while they spend hours studying film together. They are trying to find the fine line between Mayo maintaining the aggressiveness the Mavs need from their leading scorer and exercising the cautiousness necessary to cut down on his turnovers.
Mayo is the NBA’s 15th-leading scorer at 18.6 points per game, but he commits the ninth-most turnovers per game (3.2). He has had at least five turnovers in nine games this season, including five of the Mavs’ last six losses. The Mavs are 1-8 when Mayo commits at least five turnovers.
Mayo had 30 points and six turnovers in Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Heat. Carlisle was more impressed by Mayo’s 15-point, no-turnover performance in a win over the Wizards the previous night.
“He made simple plays and had a good feel for things,” Carlisle said. “Some guys that have that aggressive, go-for-broke wiring, you have to help them reconcile that the go-for-broke wiring with what’s best for sensibility and the team.
“He’s a kid that really, really desperately wants to win, he wants to do well for his teammates, and we just going to keep looking at him. ... We just got to stay at it, and at some point it’s going to click in. It’s not like he’s never going to have turnovers. That’s not going to happen. But the ones where it gets up to four, five or six, that’s where it really hurts.”
For Mayo, it’s a matter of making smart decisions without thinking too much.
“Once you start turning the ball over, you start thinking about it more,” Mayo said. “When the pass is there, you think about it so you don’t throw it, then you throw it and it’s not there anymore. Just go out there and continue being aggressive. I’ve just got to play.”