DALLAS (AP) — O.J. Mayo and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks newcomers are getting into quite a groove while waiting for Dirk Nowitzki, even though they don't always know exactly what they're going to do next.
With what Mayo best described as organized street ball, the Mavericks have shot better than 60 percent from the field in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. And that came in the first two home games for Mayo and eight other first-year Mavericks.
"It's crazy, man," said Mayo, who marked his 25th birthday Monday night with his second consecutive 30-point game. "We have spots that needed to be filled on the court. After that, it's pretty much where the ball goes — we react. It's constant movement, non-stop basketball. ... It's hard to scout stuff like that."
After decisive victories over Charlotte and Portland, the Mavericks (3-1) play their third consecutive home game Wednesday night against Toronto.
Against the Raptors, the second game in a row against a team coached by a former Dallas assistant, the Mavericks will be without Nowitzki and Shawn Marion. They are the only two players left who were on the floor when Dallas won the NBA title just two years ago.
The team said Tuesday that Marion would miss at least three games with a sprained left knee ligament. The forward, who left midway through the third quarter of Monday's game, won't play against Toronto or make the trip later this week for games at New York and Charlotte. He will be re-evaluated next week.
Nowitzki, the 11-time All-Star and former MVP, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Oct. 19, the first surgery in his 15 NBA seasons.
"Obviously, he's our franchise player," Mayo said. "With him going down, we understand that all the guys have to step up and play that much harder and when he does get here, we're ready to roll."
The newbies are doing pretty good so far.
Darren Collison, acquired in a trade from Indiana to replace departed popular point guard Jason Kidd, has consecutive double-doubles, including 14 points with 13 assists and only one turnover in a 114-91 win over the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
New 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who missed the first two games with a strained right calf, has scored 16 points in both of the home games while making 16 of 19 shots.
Continue reading this story on the...