The Dallas Mavericks learned a tough lesson this year: the tougher you play, the more injury prone you are.
With the German native Dirk Nowitzki missing a career high six games in a row with a sprained right knee, the Mavs frantically searched for another face to fill the void in the former MVP’s absence.
Alongside Nowitzki, Caron Butler underwent season-ending surgery, and Roddy Beaubois’s continued absence early in the year left the beaten Mavericks calling for someone to help them keep pace with the Spurs and Lakers atop of the West.
Of late, veteran Jason Terry has been answering that call.
Terry, coined as the “Closer” by teammate Nowitzki, has been asked to fill many roles since arriving in Dallas via trade in 2004.
Terry has played the 1, the 2, and even the 3 position, has embraced being the Robin to Dirk's Batman in their two man game, thrived whether instructed to start or come off the bench, and now will be asked to be the temporary Batman when the wounded Mavs need him most.
The former Sixth Man of the Year with the Dallas Mavericks in 2008-2009 has clearly answered the call and taken it upon himself to initiate the offense down the stretch in close games.
JET boasts an odd phenomenon this season, consistently coming alive in the fourth quarter while being inconsistent through the first three quarters.
When Nowitzki went down the Mavericks won only three of the seven games they played without him, in which Terry averaged almost double digit points (9.3) in the fourth quarter of all three wins.
Terry shot a lowly 33 percent from the field and scored only a combined 21 points in the first three quarters of those wins.
However, the former Arizona Wildcat shooting guard somehow managed to shoot an outstanding 60 percent from the field and score a combined 28 points in the three fourth quarters alone.
In addition, JET scored a combined 55 points in the next three games, on a notable 51 percent shooting from the field.
Terry has embraced the notion that everyone needs to pick up the slack on offense—especially with Butler’s bad knee and the absence of his 15 PPG as he trades in street clothes for a jersey.
Terry has clearly stated his case for another Sixth Man Award this year. His recent scuffle with Steve Blake and Co. only brings more attention to his name, further establishing himself as a staple and spokesman of the Mavs.
No. 31 continues to prove that he is willing to do anything and everything possible to help the team, even if that means putting extra weight on his shoulders and willingly entering into the crossfire of the ever-fickle media.
JET has taken on way more responsibilities then he need to, picking up for Dirk’s public vocal shyness off the court and doing more than enough on the court.
If the media have any sense, the Sixth Man Award will be in JET’s hanger once again.
Note: His closest competitor in Lamar Odom has started in almost half the games he has suited up for this year. Are you kidding me?