Saturday, May 5, 2012
Is Jason Terry preparing for farewell?
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- "No question," was Jason Terry's response when asked if he's thinking that tonight's Game 4 could be his last wearing a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
"All that’s on the line and all those thoughts are there," Terry said. "And that means more of a reason why I want to come out and play well tonight and get the win."
It's been a wild eight-year run in Dallas for Terry, who was acquired in 2004 in a no-win situation to take over for the beloved Steve Nash. It didn't help that Nash and the Suns eliminated the Mavs in the second round with the former Mavs point guard nailing a huge 3-point shot with Terry playing off of him and Dirk Nowitzki then giving his new teammate an earful.
Bygones are bygones. That's what winning a title will do for you. That was just 11 months ago, and now here the Mavs are, not only staring down first-round elimination, but a sweep at the hands of the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder.
"But no excuses," Terry said. "Come out here tonight. If we get one it's going to get scary. The pressure is on them."
Terry played the pressure card, trying to sound convincing that team up 3-0 in the series is actually shouldering the pressure. Terry said he's also been taking other measures to help get Dallas a win and begin to turn this thing around.
"I broke every broom in the house, so that’s a little superstition so I don’t think there will be any sweeps going on," Terry said. "I’ve got the black shoes on for tonight. I wanted to wear the gold ones, but they (the NBA) banned them. We’re going to try the black suit thing -- the funeral -- and we just hope it ain't ours."
After his red-hot start to the series, Terry has not been a factor, averaging 14.7 points and 4.0 assists. He's had trouble breaking free for open looks, particularly when guarded by 23-year-old Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
"The pressure is on them all the way," Terry said. "They're kind of young. They might not realize it, but it’s there, and hopefully they’ll feel it during the game because it’s hard to close a team out. And then if you do lose, then what? Now you start to think about it a little bit. Not a situation (down 3-0) we want to be in, but we’ll take it at this point."