Dallas' shooting guard went 1-of-6 from the floor and committed four turnovers in the Mavericks' 103-97 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, a poor performance that Carlisle took exception to (via Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com):
I just want to see him show up. I just want to see him show up and compete. He didn’t compete tonight.
And I tell you, with all the time we’ve put into helping him develop and bringing him along, in the biggest game of the year -- an opportunity to be a winning team -- for him to show up like he did tonight, I was shocked.
Look, sometimes guys have bad nights, so make sure to put that in there, too.
Though Carlisle made it a point to admit that players can have off nights, he made it his mission to criticize Mayo's lack of effort.
With the playoffs out of reach and the beards shaved off, finishing above .500 is all the Mavericks had to play for. A win over the Grizzlies would have given Dallas the opportunity to finish with a winning record for the 13th consecutive season against the New Orleans Hornets.
Following the loss to Memphis, the Mavericks are now facing the prospect of concluding the year with a sub.-500 record for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign.
“But I tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go," Carlisle said (via MacMahon). I’d come out ready to go at them."
Facing his former team in conjunction with so much on the line, Carlisle clearly expected more from the 25-year-old. What he saw was a shred of the player Mayo has shown himself to be earlier in the season, a sight that has become all too familiar recently.
Over the last 10 contests, Mayo is averaging just 8.3 points on 33.7 percent shooting, well below his season averages of 15.6 and 45, respectively.
Dry spells aren't a foreign concept in the NBA, but Mayo's elongated stay in the depths of futility is perturbing, and only adds fuel to Carlisle's fire.
Playing in Dallas, Mayo has been presented with the opportunity to re-invent himself, to prove that he was the player we watched for the first two seasons of his career. He was given the chance to show he was a true competitor.
Instead, we, along with Carlisle, are left to wonder if he's seriously competing at all. Is this just a rough patch, or can his struggles be contributed to a lack of will?
“Well,” Carlisle said Mayo's recent play (via MacMahon), “the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more.”
An opportunity that Mayo might need to use as an audition for a new team.