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O.J. Mayo has been clutch in several games this season at crunch time. However, he clearly tends to choke at the free-throw line when the game is hanging in the balance.
This is a very harsh accusation, but we are supposed to be "telling it like it is" ala Howard Cosell.
Part of the reason this problem stands out is because Mayo normally shoots 85 percent from the line. I'm not sure if that should make us feel better or worse. It is what it is.
The first piece of evidence in a Mavs uniform came against the Philadelphia 76ers on November 27. Mayo needed to make two throws to force overtime (yea, I know the Mavs would have probably lost in OT anyway on the road).
Mayo bricked the first shot, forcing him to intentionally miss the second. Jae Crowder retrieved the loose ball but missed at the buzzer.
The latest example was at Oklahoma City, and it was twice as bad. Down three points with 33 seconds left in overtime, Mayo was fouled on a three-point shot. Sounds great, except he gagged on the first two free-throw attempts.
Neither of those misses were intentional, obviously. And another Mavs overtime loss was sealed.
Again, Dirk's presence will help rectify this situation as he takes most of the shots down the stretch of tight games.
However, Mayo will have to prove this accusation of mine a falsehood at some point. I just hope he gets a chance to show he's not another Nick Anderson someday in the NBA Finals.