Few had the Dallas Mavericks beating the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals. Far fewer, next to no one, had the Mavericks in a sweep. Heck, many people had Dallas — which closed out the season in less than impressive fashion — even losing in the first round. Now they’re one more series victory away from playing for the NBA Championship.
After topping the Lakers on their home court twice to begin the series, Dallas came from behind to win Game 3, then absolutely exploded from beyond the arc in Game 4. Jason Terry was a big part of that, sinking 9 of his 10 shots from 3-point range, part of a whopping 20 triples from the Mavs.
That shooting explosion led to another type by the Lakers, who saw Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom ejected for flagrant fouls. Now the Mavericks must wait to see whether they’ll square off with Oklahoma City or Memphis in the Conference Finals.
Jason Terry joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the sweep, the scouting report on the Lakers heading into the series, whether the Lakers are old, the mounting frustrations of L.A. that boiled over during Game 4, how he reacted to Bynum’s foul on J.J. Barea, and if he now expects Dallas to make the Finals.
Is he surprised that they swept the Lakers?:
“Not very surprised. Again, going into the series, we knew we matched up very well with them. Once we won the first game on their home court and then we got Game 2, we knew it was very possible.”
What was the scouting report on the Lakers heading in?:
“Break their defense down. Offensively, we had to break their defense down with penetration and make the extra pass, get them scrambling in rotation and make our open shots. We were able to do that. … They really dominate teams with their length and their size. For the most part, we did an outstanding job.”
Were they old?:
“Not necessarily. They weren’t old at all, I just think two years of constant grinding, playing deep into June, winning two championships, it takes a lot out of you. Mentally, as that series wore on and as we got into Dallas, we knew they were wearing down.”
Could you see the frustration mounting leading up to the ejections?:
“It started late in Game 3, we could see the frustration. … As we started to knock down 3s [in Game 4] and when they tried to answer our runs and we continued to knock down 3s, it really broke them. It broke their will; it broke their spirit. Even when you’re a two-time defending champion, when you’re down 0-3, it’s tough, I can only imagine.”
If Bynum had done to him what he did to J.J. Barea, how would he have reacted?:
“I can’t tell you. I cannot tell you what I would’ve done, but I know it would’ve been hard for me to control my reaction, being the player that I am and the emotion that I play with. It was just a dirty, dirty play.”
How difficult was it, as Barea’s teammate, not to react?:
“It was tough for me. I was toeing the line. I think we might even have to review the tape, but I made sure I stayed back. You know what happens if you cross that line and you’re not in the game, you won’t be playing in the next one.”
If the team had a 3-point contest, who would win?:
“It just depends what week it is. Last week, I went 24-for-25 and you won’t believe who went 25-for-25 right behind me. Peja Stojakovic. … You’ve got three of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the history in the game at one time.”
Does he expect to be in the NBA Finals?:
“At this point, we’re confident but we’re not overconfident. We expect to go in this next round and play well. If we do that, we will be in the Finals. Again, that’s not our goal. Our ultimate goal is to win it all.”
Who does he want to face in the conference finals?:
“Doesn’t matter. Anybody with an opposing jersey on, we’re ready to go.”