Thursday, June 9, 2011
Jason Terry: Mavs poised for breakout
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Yes, everyone knows Jason Terry just won't shut up, even if Dirk Nowitzki tells him to. We know, it's not how Jet flies.
Terry's scoring average through four games in the NBA Finals (15.0) and 3-point shooting percentage (31.3) are at their lowest points of any series this postseason. Terry's confidence, however, remains at an all-time high. He is certain the Dallas Mavericks will finally break out of their overall shooting funk against the mostly excellent defense by the Miami Heat.
Dallas averaged 100.2 points a game during the regular season, but have managed to score more than 86 points in only one of four games, and have shot better than 40 percent once (48.0 percent, Game 2), having twice finished in the 30s.
"We know we can win any style of game, but we prefer obviously to score 100 points because we know that team over there, that’s not the style they want to play," Terry said. "So, if we can get to that in this series I think we can take control and it’ll be not as difficult as it has been for us. But, again, those shots that we’ve been missing, I just don’t see us missing those come [Game 5]."
And why not feel like putting yourself out there a bit if you're Terry. After all, Nowitzki went public with the obvious, that Terry hasn't been clutch. Terry's been tough on himself for not coming through in the fourth quarters of Games 1 and 3 with LeBron James guarding him. Before Game 4, Terry issued a challenge to James to go ahead and try to blanket him over the course of seven games.
Terry then scores eight points in the fourth quarter of the 86-83 Game 4 victory by taking James off the dribble and running him through screens. Not that it was a picture-perfect quarter since Jet missed three good looks in the final three minutes that could have roasted the Heat and avoided the last-second drama. But, hey, it's all in the job description for Terry.
"For Terry, the next game is always the best chance for a breakout.
"For me, it’s not risky at all," Terry said of calling himself out. "It’s just a situation where I know what I have to do to be successful. I’ve watched film, I’ve studied the game, I prepare myself. So, I’m ready for the moment. In a moment like this, the time is now and I’m ready."
Especially, Terry said, if James continues to man-up on him in the fourth quarter.
"Just being aggressive and just not allowing their defense to dictate what moves I make, and that’s something I’ve looked at on film," Terry said. "I’ve watched it, I’ve prepared and, again, it’s going to get even better for me the more aggressive I get."