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NBA: Mayo sees career resurgence in Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks have a re-blossoming star in O.J. Mayo. The team is in need of stars, especially as their one big star, Dirk Nowitzki is still sidelined due to knee surgery.

Mayo has started to workout using the same routine as Nowitzki on away trips. As soon as the arrives in the city they are playing in, he heads to the arena with Darrell Armstrong a Mavericks assistant coach and he starts to work out in the gym. He shoots for one hour to make sure he is comfortable with the gym, the floor and the baskets. He does it because he wants to stay sharp and because he sees how it has worked for Nowitzki for so long.

Nowitzki is not due back until January but everyone on the team knows the team is still his but the resurgence of Mayo since coming to play for the Mavericks is a positive sign on a team that has struggled since last season.

Following four not so happy seasons in Memphis where he lost his starting job and his numbers dropped, Mayo is returning to form playing for the Mavericks. He is leading the team in scoring with an average of 20.8 points a game, which is a career-high for him. That might not be too surprising since the starting line up for the Mavericks includes veteran Derek Fisher, Brendan Wright and Dahntay Jones and that means someone else on the court needs to score.

Mayo is currently shooting nearly 40% from the field and leads the league in three-point percentage at 53%, a sign that he is not just heaving the ball up there anymore. Last season Mayo averaged only 12 points a game and 40% from the field. He is also shooting nearly 17% higher from three-point range this season compared to last season.

Last Saturday, Mayo scored 40 points against Houston, which is the first time he has scored that many points in close to three years. The Mavericks are not contending by any means, as they are just 11-11 on the season and 5-5 over their past 10 games. However, with Mayo on board, the Mavericks are able to stay in the playoff race until Nowitzki returns in January. At this point, they are in the eighth spot in the playoff race but it is very early in the season.

In just a year and a half, the Mavericks have gone from NBA Champs to being on the fringe of the top tier teams. A mass exodus has taken place. Over that period, Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler left and they were followed by Jason Terry and Jason Kidd. The team hoped to sign Deron Williams in the off-season but he stayed with the Nets.

Over the summer, it became evident that Memphis would not be able to keep Mayo and pay him the contract a sixth man deserves. However, other teams could not afford to pay him as a prominent player on their team. The Mavericks liked what they saw in Mayo and even were interested in him back in 2008 when he was drafted third overall and the Mavericks did not have a pick until no. 51.

The Mavericks hope their signing of Mayo will keep them close until Nowitzki can return and move them to the next level. Thus far, the move to Dallas has been good for both the franchise and for the resurrection of Mayo’s career, but the season still has 50 plus games left.

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