They call him the “Jet” because of his turbo speed [and because his middle name is Eugene], but Jason Terry used his sweet stroke from the perimeter to extinguish the Miami Heat en route to winning his—and the Dallas Mavs’—first NBA title.
Terry was more than good from the field this postseason—he was exceptional. Just how effective was the former Sixth Man of the Year? Some revealing statistics, from the Wall Street Journal, show that Terry shot:
- 55 percent from field
- 39 percent from beyond the three-point arc
- 75 percent from the free throw line
On average, Terry scored 1.21 points every time he shot the ball or was fouled in the act of shooting. Further illuminating his effectiveness, 59 percent of his playoff points were scored on shots taken between 16 and 23 feet from the basket.
As all great players can attest, the basket seems to get bigger when you’ve got a hot hand. But even the sharpest shooters occasionally go cold.
The Jet learned several years ago that to break out of a slump, you must work even harder. Concerning a dreadful night from the field—two of 14, to be exact—Terry says, “Right after the game I went downstairs and made 500 jumpers to make sure that night was a fluke, because I knew I was a much better shooter than that.” To this day, he says, “I’ll go back into the gym and perfect whatever it is that I’m weak or struggling at.”
Terry perfected his work ethic and slump-busting routine by observing his former backcourt mate at the University of Arizona, who, in an ironic twist of fate, became his opponent in the 2011 Finals. “My [on-court] workout routine came from watching Mike Bibby prepare himself,” says the Jet. “I’d go to the gym and get my shots up and work out by playing all the scrimmage games during the summer, but I really wasn’t working on my game. When I would watch [Bibby] work out, he was working on every move, every crossover and every jump shot. That’s what I added to prepare for my senior year that really took me to the next level.”
To the next level and beyond: Terry, an 11-year veteran, is now an NBA champion.