Jason Terry Named Top Bench Player

by Ryne Nelson

Just look at the numbers. We’re not going into intangibles because, clearly, Jason Terry certainly brings a ton of them. Here’s hard data: 19.6 points, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals per. Eighth in the NBA in three-pointers made (167), 88 percent from the line, 46.3 percent from the field, and 36.6 percent from the land of plenty.

His 63 games off the pine are by far the most in his career, but he recorded his second-highest scoring average while in this new role. Eddie Sefko of The Morning-News believes that the Mavs wouldn’t have hit the 50-win plateau without Terry’s play.

Terry had been a starter virtually his whole career, but his scoring this season was just one-tenth off of his career best 19.7 points accomplished in his second season. His ability to come off the bench and heat up quickly was a terrific weapon for the Mavericks this season.

Terry said recently that this had been an enlightening season for him in many respects as he learned the subtleties of coming off the bench and providing an offensive spark.

Just like the COY, DPOY and ROY (and soon to be named MVP), the Sixth man Award wasn’t much of a competition. But the case can still be made against choosing Terry. Charles Barkley eliminated him from the conversation because “Terry’s a starter for that team.” Charles had a point. Terry played the third-most minutes of any Maverick and his 33.7 per are more than any Sixth Man winner in history.

Then again, who else could honest get the award? Birdman?