MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—O.J. Mayo(notes) was dropped from the Memphis Grizzlies’ startinglineup against Detroit on Wednesday night, the second straight game the guardhas opened on the bench.
After starting his first 177 games in the NBA, Mayo was held out of thestarting lineup Saturday night in the Grizzlies’ victory over the Miami Heatbecause he was late for the team’s shootaround that day.
Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said he was looking for more offensive punchfrom his second unit.
“I’ve been thinking about it since before training camp. `How we could makeour team better? And how we could balance our lineup?’ Hollins said. “I justfelt like we weren’t getting anybody on the bench who was a true, pure scorer.”
Mayo, averaging 13.6 points, was 2 for 18 from the field in the last twogames.
“I’m not happy,” Mayo said, “but at the same time, if this is what’s bestfor the team, I’m all for it. If it betters our team situation, I’ve got to dealwith it.”
Hollins said the disciplinary action involving Mayo on Saturday and theshooting slump were factors in the situation because he was able to see how thechange worked Saturday.
The coach acknowledged that some would see the switch as a demotion forMayo.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people will think that,” Hollins said. “But tobe perfectly honest, it’s not the case. It’s always difficult when you makethese types of decisions because everybody is reading into it more than whatthey should.”
Henry, a rookie from Kansas, is averaging 5.3 points. He was 1 of 9 from thefield and scored six points in 26 minutes against the Heat.
“It was just out of nowhere,” Henry said. “At first I was (surprised),then I just eased into it.”