Over at the Court Vision blog, I used tonight’s Finals rematch as an opportunity to reflect on Jason Terry’s role with the Mavs:
Terry simply has no regard for the NBA’s fourth wall. He treats every game as a completely interactive experience, and in that approach, he’s carved out a special place for himself as player turned provocateur. Terry seems to cherish being loved in Dallas almost as much as he adores being reviled elsewhere, but his showmanship is always balanced carefully with legitimate production; though it’s doubtful that JET appropriates his chatter relative to his performance, he has the benefit of making exactly the kinds of plays that silence his most vocal critics.
He creates effectively for himself off the dribble. He hits pull-up jumpers emblematic of transcendent guards past. He has a well-earned reputation for producing at the end of games. Terry’s efficiency and approach somehow embody both the push toward per-possession maximization and the fetishization of an old school mentality; he’s perfectly in line with the breed of isolation-empowered guards that ruled the previous era of basketball analysis (and still informs the perspective of the casual fan to this very day), but Terry also stands out as one of the most efficient mid-to-high-usage shooters of his era. JET certainly has his nights where he over-shoots his welcome, but in total he’s been precisely the kind of shot creator — and motivator — the Mavericks have needed.