Saturday, February 11, 2012
Pregame buzz: Battle of Seattle sixth men
DALLAS -- The game within the game tonight features two guys capable of instant offense off the bench and who have little bit of a turf battle at stake, too.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award two seasons ago. Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry won it the year before. Both enter tonight's game as their teams' second-leading scorers. Both are from nearby areas of Seattle and attended rival high schools.
Terry, 34, is three years older than Crawford, but don't think that doesn't mean the rivalry isn't any less intense.
"Last year we were on the court and I was like, 'Jet, you're not getting Sixth Man this year, you've started too many games,'" Crawford said. "He was at the free throw line, he didn't even look up and he said, 'Nope, I ain't starting no more,' and he didn't start another single game."
(Last season's Sixth Man winner, Lamar Odom, is also in the house tonight, although his chances of a repeat are rather low.)
Crawford signed with Portland this season after winning the Sixth Man award with the Atlanta Hawks. He's coming off a 31-point game in Friday's win at New Orleans and is averaging 14.6 points a game. Terry is averaging 14.8 points a game.
"Jet was one of the first guys from my area to make it in the NBA," Crawford said. "So he's definitely one of the pioneers from our area because it was Mike Dickerson, Doug Christie, Jet, that was kind of our era that we could relate, too. It's always fun to be around him."