For Jason Terry, the Sixth Man of the Year Award is something he wants to reclaim. He understands the starting role is out of the equation so the goal is to maximize his role. By doing so, it can only help him and help his team in the long run.
Looking at it historically, 2009-2010 was a year that the Jet did not fly high. You would have to go back to his days in Atlanta to find shooting numbers that were worse than what he did last season. His shooting disappeared in the playoffs as he only shot 37.7% from the field in their first round series against the San Antonio Spurs. Terry has been known as a streaky shooter but that performance was one that lingered and was a source of motivation for the guard.
Terry's numbers have sputtered a little over the last five games, but his overall shooting numbers are still up versus the numbers last season. The Mavericks are 7-2 this season when Terry hits two or more 3-pointers. Terry's coach attributes the resurgence for his game to two things: Pride and a Great Summer's work. "Last was a down year for him and a down year for our team," said coach Rick Carlisle. "It didn't go the way we wanted it to with the playoffs. It's something he took personally and we all did, we just went back at it and worked harder."
What did Terry focus on over the summer to get his game back up to his standards, "Everything, (Terry) was just dedicated," said Carlisle. "He always works, but it was just a re-dedication and he really amped it up. He's a tremendous athlete and he's one of these guys that knows to keep playing at this level, into his 30s, you've got to work even harder." As you get older, your game tends to drop off but you see players have been able to rise above that. Terry doesn't have to look very far to find a player who is still going toe-to-toe against Father Time, Jason Kidd. It just shows a true level of commitment and showing the career isn't ready to hit the down-slide just yet.
"I put a lot of hard work in to the off-season, conditioning, training and getting my body in shape mentally and physically," said Terry. "It's very disappointing when you lose in the first round and you're one of the leaders of the team. Coming back this year, I just wanted to rededicate myself and make sure I was putting enough extra time in and it's paying off for me." The results are coming around on offense, but the results on defense are a surprise for Terry. He's averaging 1.7 steals/game, well above his numbers over previous years. He took a more focused approach to defense over the off-season and it helps having two solid centers being able to anchor the defense and be a last-line of defense and double as a security blanket for Terry. The Mavericks are 7-1 this season when Terry has two or more steals in a game. He's had 9 games this season where he has recorded three or more steals in a game.
Terry's biggest competition for the Sixth Man of the Year Award might be his own teammate in Shawn Marion. The forward has found his groove coming off the bench and has been a factor on both sides of the floor, maybe they could split the award. Either way, there has been a re-dedication in Jason Terry's game and the Jet will do everything he can to help his teammates make this season a special one.
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