I've seen a lot of people panicking over O.J. Mayo's game last night. Suddenly Kevin Love is a nobody and Kevin McHale made another trading mistake. Can we all please calm down?
First let's look at the situation. The Sun's are not a good defensive team. In the last few weeks they have given up 23 points to Ramone Sessions. 23 points to Ben Gordon, and 23 points to both Danny Granger and T.J Ford. None of these players other than possibly the exception of Ben Gordon are high scoring players. If Mayo had scored 33 points against the Celtics I could see a legitimate reason for worry, but I think I could score a point or two against the Suns.
Second, last nights box score looks good, but if you compare season stats Love actually looks better. Mayo is averaging over 39 minutes per game. During those 39 minutes he is averaging 21 points, 1.4 steals, 5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.9 turnovers, and shooting 45 percent from the floor. Kevin Love is playing about half as much as Mayo, at around 25 minutes per game. Also, he came off the bench for the first five games. Love is averaging 10.2 points, 1 block, 1.5 assists, 1.2 turnovers, 6.7 rebounds, and and shooting 43 percent from the floor. Here is a quick table for comparison.
As you can see Love is barely being outscored by Mayo, his rebound total is much better, and his assist to turnover ratio of 1.2 is better than Mayo's at .83.
Now I'm sure someone somewhere will say that if Jefferson just had Mayo alongside him, the Wolves would be on their way to a championship. Just remember that we already have a guard who can score 30 points per game in Rashad McCants, and I know I don't want to see him on the floor for 39 minutes per game.
So let's all just take a deep breath and remember there is a lot more to basketball than just putting the ball through the hoop.