Jason Terry NBA Finals Interview
Thursday night in Game 1 of the 2006 NBA Finals the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat 90-80 and got a great night from point guard Jason Terry. Here's what Terry had to say about the game and series on Friday:
Q. Are you the kind of guy as a shooter who feels it, gets in the zone? And if so, what was the status last night for you?
JASON TERRY: Last night I just wanted to maintain my aggressiveness, come out, be persistent with attacking on both ends of the floor. I was able to get into a rhythm early. My teammates had good picks and that got me open for some easy looks.
Q. Do you think you can kind of keep this pace up or are you pretty much... was it a situation with Dirk and Josh struggling last night, you really had step up?
JASON TERRY: Well, I wanted to just maintain my aggressiveness. That's been key for me all season long. I know for my teammates especially, we're out there being the aggressor, we can play our game and be in our style of play which is up-tempo and really be aggressive on the defense, especially against a good team like Miami, when they got Shaq inside, if you're passive, he's going to beat you up all night. Even Dwyane Wade, he's real aggressive attacking the basket and we have to match their aggressiveness.
Q. Were you surprised so many top scorers struggled last night, your two guys and Shaq from the free throw line was really bad and Wade in the last three quarters struggled?
JASON TERRY: Yeah, it was a little surprising but something we don't really focus in on. We're more focused on our game plan, executing offensively and defensively.
Q. Is there anything that you're doing differently mentally to prepare for The Finals versus what you did during just the regular playoffs?
JASON TERRY: I wouldn't say so. Watching a lot more film than I have. I watch tons, anyway, but especially this week, you know, everyone knows what's at stake. You really want to just find any, I don't know, advantage you can gain by watching tons and tons of film. I watched the Detroit Miami series, just trying to find something, you know, whatever I could.
Q. You looked like you were very comfortable out there last night. Is there something in your background or past that helped you prepare for the big stage, Game 1?
JASON TERRY: Well, definitely, high school, winning two state championships, in 1997 in college, winning the National Championship. And then, you know, now in the NBA Finals, it's nothing different. The goals are still ten feet, still 94 feet to both baselines. You just don't want to be in the situation... you realize what's at stake and it's all the same. I think Avery has done a great job of preparing us for this moment all year long, all season, in our practices, in our film sessions and in our in-game situations, so it almost feels like we've been here before. We're just going to stay humble, maintain our aggressiveness and see what happens.
Q. How do you think you've done with maintaining your aggressiveness this playoffs? Even in some of the games where you struggled, do you feel like you were still given that aggressive effort?
JASON TERRY: It's kind of been up and down for me. San Antonio series I was aggressive, it's hard to be aggressive when the ball isn't falling, but you have to keep attacking, even if it means drawing two or three defenders and finding an open teammate, that's what I found myself doing into the Phoenix series when the shot was not falling at a high percentage which I like to shoot and I had to kind of get my guys off and let them kind of carry the load.
You know, the shooter shoots, and that's my job for this team.
Q. With your film study, have you been watching yourself, also, and were there things that you saw that you're able to correct?
JASON TERRY: Oh, definitely. There's all certain little subtleties, as a shooter looking to see if your feet are set, if you're following through, all of the basics that go with shooting. If they are guarding a certain situation differently, then you can look to make your adjustments.
Q. How was last night kind of a microcosm of the new Dallas Mavericks as far as not shooting the ball real well, Dirk not shooting real well but defensively looking in?
JASON TERRY: It's something we have harped on all year long, you're not going to win with your offense, defense is going to win for you. You're not going to make all your shots, especially in the 4th quarter when it's time to win the game, who is going to get stops. And we've seen time after time the team that gets stops in the fourth quarter is the team that has the best chance of winning.
Q. Were you uncomfortable or how did you feel when you became sort of a focus of attention during the San Antonio series with Game 5 and missing Game 6, and then if that was an issue for you, the to have gotten past that with what happened last night, how do you feel about that?
JASON TERRY: Well, it's sort of a blessing in disguise, you have to go home, I'm sitting in my house watching the game and can't be out it with my teammates in one of the biggest series that I've ever been involved in, I had to watch. It really hurt me. I really felt I owed it to the city of Dallas and my teammates to come back in Game 7 and put it all out there. So it was kind of a blessing in disguise.
Q. And now?
JASON TERRY: And now with just everything riding on this series, man, each possession, very critical and that's something I learned going back to my first playoff experience last year in round two that you cannot take possessions off. Everything is very pretty critical.
Mavericks fans, flock to the new InsideHoops.com Dallas Mavericks Forum