The Dallas Mavericks trail the Miami Heat 2-1 in the 2011 NBA Finals. But if Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki had a bit more help, that Finals winning total might be reversed right now.
Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas reports:
Dirk Nowitzki needs scoring help and he knows teammate Jason Terry has yet to deliver in the NBA Finals.
Terry, the Dallas Mavericks’ charismatic sixth man who likes to bust out his arms like airplane wings after he makes 3-pointers and prides himself on cold-blooded shooting in the clutch, has found little breathing room with Miami Heat forward LeBron James shutting him out of the late-game offense.
“They keep sticking him [James] on Jet in the fourth quarters and he’s been doing a good job,” Nowitzki said. “Jet hasn’t really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to.”
Nowitzki scored 34 points in the 88-86 Game 3 loss and he scored the Mavs’ final 12 points of the game. Terry, the team’s second-leading scorer, was 0-of-4 from the floor in the fourth quarter of the disappointing home loss that put the Mavs in a 2-1 hole with Game 4 on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.
Terry is a combined 0-of-7 in the fourth quarters of the Mavericks’ two losses in the NBA Finals.
“They know to take me out of the fourth quarter, which they didn’t do in Game 2,” Terry said of the Heat’s choice to turn to James defensively, “then they got a good chance.”
Added Terry: “Let’s see if [James] can defend me like that for seven games.”
Dirk can’t do it alone. No player can. Terry is the team’s second-best scorer behind Nowitzki, and he’s going to have to step up when it matters most if Dallas is going to push forward.