It’s officially playoff time in the 2011 NBA, as the Dallas Mavericks’ sixth man, Jason Terry, is aware his production in the postseason will be a vital role.
The Mavericks clinched the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and are set to face the Portland Trail Blazers when Game 1 of the first round tips off Saturday night. Dallas potentially could have had the No. 2 seed, but the Lakers embraced it after beating the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night in overtime.
Forward Shawn Marion said these games are a team effort and not only about one player, but Terry will need to be himself.
“We’re going to need (Jason) Jet (Terry) to be Jet,” Marion said. “We’re going to need everyone to be themselves. It’s going to be a team effort, not only two people doing this and that. It’s not just going to be on one person. We’re going to need everybody to step up and help this team win.”
Terry finished with 13 points alongside Dirk Nowitzk’s 32 points in a regular season finale and a 121-89 home defeat of New Orleans Wednesday night. Terry said this game is the intensity his ball club needs going into the playoffs, which may be the fuel Dallas needs go beyond the first round.
“Tonight was a great example of what we’re going to do to have success,” Terry explained. “We have to get after it defensively, make the physical plays and not be out worked on either end of the floor.”
It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Terry lately, including his aunt that passed away, a flagrant foul on the Lakers’ Steve Blake, a shooting slouch, a confrontation with J.J. Barea and coach Rick Carlisle and a situation in which he was confused about the score in a game at Houston after he missed a free throw.
But the Arizona alumni is quickly overcoming his emotions to prepare for the playoffs. Terry said this may be the season for the Mavericks and that he feels his team is the team to beat in the West.
“We know our plan of attack,” Terry said. “We have a good flow and rhythm to our game. Everybody says the Lakers is the team to beat, but I know seven other teams in the Western Conference that feel like they’re the team to beat and we’re one of them. I feel like now is the time and we’re ready.”
Terry is the only player to appear in every game for the Mavericks this season. The 11-year-pro registered his 1,000th 3-pointer during his tenure with the Mavericks in a game April 10th vs. Phoenix. He finished 3-of-7 from beyond the arc en route to 17 points off the bench.
Terry recorded all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter in a game at Miami earlier this season. It marked the second-highest scoring total he’s posted in the fourth quarter of a game in his career. He has scored 10+ points in the fourth quarter 13 times this season, averaging 6.2 in the fourth.
Center Brendan Haywood said Terry is a spark that can provide leadership with his pro experience.
“Terry is a veteran,” Haywood said. “We always need his scoring because he’s a dynamic scorer and one of the better shooters in the game. That’s what we need him to do, be himself and come out there to give us that pop off the bench and instant energy.”
Our thanks to Hoops Addict for this basketball article.