Collison, Mayo not out to replace J-Kidd, JET
Earl K. Sneed writes that while new additions Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo will play similar roles to the departing Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, the two will make their own mark on the Dallas Mavericks this upcoming season.
Collison, Mayo not out to replace J-Kidd, JET
DALLAS -- There’s no replacing a future Hall of Famer like point guard Jason Kidd. The same could be said for sixth man Jason Terry, who was instrumental in helping lead the Dallas Mavericks to two NBA Finals appearances during his eight seasons in Big D.
But now, after the two veterans departed to New York and Boston during free agency, the Mavericks will somehow have to find a way to move ahead without the two mainstays in their backcourt.
That shouldn't be a problem, however, thanks to the off-season additions of point guard Darren Collison and backcourt mate O.J. Mayo, who are expected to assume the primary offensive duties vacant after the departures of Kidd and Terry.
Fill those voids? Yes. Become Kidd and Terry? No.
“I think one of things we’ve gotta be careful about is we had great success with J-Kidd and JET [Terry] and a lot of the guys that have been here, but the guys that come in, they are who they are and we’ve gotta take who they are and their abilities and plug them into our system,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle explained on Monday.
He added: “We’ve gotta be careful about trying to fit these parts into a set system. I think one of things about our franchise is that we’re resourceful and we adjust. And in this case, we’ve gotta adjust to the people that we have. We obviously want to do a lot of the same things.”
During their introductory press conference to the media and approximately 300 season-ticket holders on Monday, both Collison and Mayo paid homage to their predecessors in a Mavericks uniform. The newcomers also made it very clear that they’re not here to become younger versions or carbon copies of the two aging veterans.
“You know, everybody’s been trying to put me in the category of Jason Kidd, but we all know that’s tough to be,” the recently-turned 25-year-old Collison admitted. “I thought he was a great player for this organization, and really for me, I just want to be myself. I was brought here for a reason, to play my game. I mean, some of the things that I want to bring is up-tempo and energy, defense, whatever I can do to help out these guys. I’m just excited to be here, but I just want to play my game.”
“Well, JET played a big part for this organization during the championship run, made a lot of great plays, and I’m looking to make those same plays,” the 24-year-old Mayo added. “You know, it’s gonna be fun. It’s definitely a new opportunity for all of us, and this organization is always about winning, and that’s what I’m all about. And if I can take anything from JET, I think the winning aspect of it all is the most important thing.”
Unlike Terry and the last two seasons he spent in Memphis, Mayo is expected to assume a starting role most likely at shooting guard alongside Collison in the first unit. Going into his fifth season, he’ll try to recapture the form from his rookie year, when he averaged 18.5 points a game and finished as the runner-up behind Derrick Rose for Rookie of the Year honors.
And if his commitment to working out and training this summer with rookies Jared Cunningham, Bernard James and Jae Crowder is any indication, Mayo could be in for a big year.
“Well, there’s going to be a lot of comparisons to Jason Terry, because he’s going to be filling that position in large part,” Carlisle said of the addition of Mayo. “But, you know, O.J. is a different player. There’s certain things that we did with JET that we’re gonna want to do with O.J. … O.J. has been in here for almost a month now working and setting a great example for the younger, younger guys, and he’s really excited about being here. But we’ve gotta take his game and enhance it to the guys we have around him now.”
Meanwhile, after losing the starting role to George Hill in Indiana before a sign-and-trade deal that sent him and defensive specialist Dahntay Jones to Big D for big man Ian Mahinmi this summer, Collison will also try to once again display the head-turning play from his first year.
As a rookie, Collison stepped in for an injured Chris Paul, engineering the New Orleans offense to a seemingly seamless transition without the All-Star floor general. And it’s that experience that he will again draw upon while filling the shoes of the No. 2 assists man in NBA history, looking to add his own flare to the Mavs’ offense.
“I mean, you know, the experience playing behind Chris Paul was probably the best thing that could happen to me,” Collison explained. “We all know he’s one of the best point guards in this league and I got a chance to see his ways on and off the court. Just the way he controlled the game and managed the game, you know, things you want your point guard to do. And I try to bring that a little bit to my game; understanding the game, watching a lot of film, if I can. And then my speed and quickness speaks for itself. I love to attack the basket any way that I can, especially in transition. I think me, O.J., Roddy [Beaubois] and some of the other guys can do a good job in the open court doing that. We had a lot of success in Indiana, Dahntay and I, and I expect to do the same thing here.”