Jason Terry's Worth to the Mavs

Waleed ErshadCorrespondent INovember 25, 2008

Whenever someone talks about the Dallas Mavericks you always hear about Nowitzki, Howard, and Kidd.  You hardly ever hear the name "Terry" come up.

Antagonists of the Dallas Mavericks like to talk about Dirk Nowitzki's softness, his no inside game, him being a seven-foot jump shooter, or him being a choker. Or they talk about Josh Howard's jump-shot happiness, calling a time-out at the wrong time, marijuana, drag racing, or unpatriotic remarks.  Or they talk about Jason Kidd's wife abusing or his old age.

Protagonists of the Dallas Mavericks like to talk about Nowitzki being one of the greatest power forwards ever to play the game (certainly the best Maverick), the best big-man shooter of all-time, and the player that revolutionized the game of basketball forever.  Or Howard's heart for the game, rebounding prowess, and defensive skills.  Or Kidd's leadership skills, rebounding talent, and passing ability.

But a player that nobody seems to mention is Jason Terry.  Nobody likes to talk about his lack of passing skills and floor leadership for the one-guard, but the lack of height and defense for the two-guard and his erratic streakiness.  Then there is his shooting flair, passion for the game, and optimistic attitude.

It's about time he got his respect.

The "Jet" has been a key component of the Dallas Mavericks' attack ever since he was traded there in 2004. 

He averaged 12.4, 17.1, 16.7, and 15.5 points per game during his four-year run with the Mavs.  This lack in scoring can mainly be attributed to the rise of Josh Howard's game. 

But Terry seems to make the Mavs go.  People forget that during their run to the 2006 NBA Finals, Terry was the second option behind Dirk.  While people may criticize him for not playing his position right, the same can be said about Dirk, and he is definitely one of the best power forwards ever to play the game.  A great player is a great player and people will always try to find a flaw in his game.

The Mavs beat Indiana yesterday to increase their win streak to five.  During this run, he has averaged 21.5 points per game.  He has increased his level of play during the absence of Josh Howard.

He has adjusted to his bench role and wants to contribute in any way the team needs him to.  In fact, he has always been loyal to the Mavs.  In the free agency summer of 2006, he waited just 12 hours to re-sign with Cuban and the Mavericks.  That is what makes him so valuable to this team.  He is always there to show his enthusiasm and optimism, even when the going gets tough.

This is what he had to say about the Mavs' recent struggles:

"Priceless," he said Monday. "Adversity at the beginning of the season is very priceless. You'd rather have that now than at the end of the season.

"We're happy with where we're at. We'd like more wins, but as far as learning and developing, we're moving along."

Well, Jason Terry, you are "priceless" to the Mavs' team, staff, and fans!