Including five of the eight first round series, six former Arizona Wildcats are playing in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Over the next few weeks, Desert Swarm will be bringing you updates, short quips and thoughts about Arizona players from the past playing in the NBA postseason.
Remember that time the Dallas Mavericks were cursed, softened by their two leaders in Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki being too quiet and not mean enough?
Remember when they blew a 23-point third quarter lead to the Portland Trailblazers and now sit in a position very similar to their 2006 title run, or should I say, give-away?
You might. So what's that have anything to do with Arizona, Wildcats or Tucson? Because former Wildcat Jason Terry, Dallas' sixth man, is the only guy on the Mavs roster who can save them from another perplexing first-round exit from the NBA playoffs.
It all comes down to character. JET is the energizer bunny -- as lame as that sounds -- and the only guy who might get into someone's face if they're screwing up bigtime. He's an enigma that many fans hate. He'll drill a 3-pointer and that huge smile will roll across your TV screen. If you hate the Mavs or like the Blazers, you probably detest him.
So what? Terry scored 29 points and dropped seven dimes in Game 3's 97-92 loss. But for the Mavericks to pull this series out, JET needs more than scoring. He needs to be that air compressor off the bench, pumping up his team when they need it. That giant smile could get Nowitzki and Kidd over the hump, is what it is.
Because it's looking like they can't do it alone. Kidd and Nowitzki don't have the personalities to push their team to wins in the same way a Kobe Bryant or even a Jamal Crawford can. Hell, Jason Kidd was dribbling out the 24 second clock with SIX MINUTES LEFT rather than getting easy buckets in transition during Game 4's epic collapse.
All I'm saying is this; If you're an Arizona fan and saw JET play in Tucson, then followed his career in the NBA thereafter, you might know the power of positive energy. Kidd and Nowitzki are tame stars, not the type to say, "screw it, we're not losing this."
But at the very least, Terry could be the guy to let the Mavs roster know there's no way in hell they're going to lose, be it his hot shooting or charisma.
I mean, Deshawn Stevenson's not going to do it. Tyson Chandler won't. Why not it be Jason Terry?