"A couple of those shots, I didn't even see the rim ... I was just letting it fly." — Jason Terry (a real quote)
"OK, Jason, we get it. 'Jet.' Enough with with the flying puns." — Most people (in their minds)
"Keep hating if you want. I'll just ... rise above." — Terry (not a real quote, thank God)
Several factors combined to create the conditions for Jason Terry to explode from long-range in the Dallas Mavericks' 122-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon, a complete annihilation that completed Dallas' four-game sweep of the two-time defending NBA champions and brought an unseemly end to the legendary coaching career of Phil Jackson. To wit:
• The enormous attention-drawing and shape-distorting effect that ever-present threat Dirk Nowitzki has on opposing defenses;
• Solid floor spacing by the Mavericks that forced Laker defenders to close wide distances quickly to contest jumpers (which they did too late too often);
• Fantastic Dallas ball movement that left even hustling Lakers (and they didn't all appear to be hustling, especially late in the game) chasing the play, finished with excellent passes that put the ball in the shooting pockets of the receivers, and;
• The deadeye shooting of Mavs marksmen like Terry (9-for-10 from distance, finishing with 32 points off the bench) and Peja Stojakovic (7-for-7 from the floor, including six makes from beyond the arc, for 21 points).
Mix those together, and you've got a recipe for a big day in Big D.
Everyone in white did their job; because of that, everyone in forum blue and gold is going on summer vacation a bit early this year.
Terry joined Rex Chapman, Vince Carter and Ray Allen as the only players in NBA history to hit nine 3-pointers in a playoff game, leading the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals for the fourth time in franchise history and the first since making a run to the NBA Finals after the 2005-06 season.
All told, the Mavericks made 20 3-pointers on Sunday, tying an NBA playoff record set in 1996 by the Seattle SuperSonics. As Dwain Price notes in the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, Dallas' 11 first-half triples was also a postseason record. So, basically, legendarily good offensive play and long-distance shooting by Terry and his fellow Mavericks.
This might not be a popular opinion, but I honestly believe it: If Dallas keeps making 60 percent of its shots and 62.5 percent of its 3-pointers, then I think you have to consider the Mavs the favorites to win the title.