BOSTON – There will probably be some pregame hugs for Jason Terry.
Terry has moved on in Boston, averaging 11.4 points as a Celtics starter, but he’ll always be considered a Maverick by many. And he’ll certainly always be a champion, having played a huge role in the Mavs’ 2011 title run.
“He was special obviously,” said Mark Cuban, who laughed when he recalled refusing to approve a trade that would have sent Terry to Utah for Raul Lopez during his first year in Dallas. “He got off to a rough start, but he just worked all the time and we wouldn’t have had our ring without him. He caught a lot of grief, and he just kept on working harder and harder and harder.
“People blamed him when we didn’t win in the playoffs, but when it came time to shine, he shined. So you can’t say enough great things about Jet.”
Added coach Rick Carlisle: “Jet was an all-time great Mav. I have no doubt his number will be in the rafters at some point. Eight years with one franchise, a championship, the sacrifice he showed being willing to be a sixth man, basically a starter coming off the bench and giving the team that unusual, unique kind of punch just makes him a special kind of person and special kind of player.”
But this isn’t about warm, fuzzy feelings. This is a business trip for the Mavs, who are trying to win four consecutive games for the first time this season.
Records: Mavs (11-10); Celtics (11-9)
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: TD Garden
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Can the Mavs sustain their success in this building? They’ve won their last three games at the TD Garden. Of course, Dirk Nowitzki had a lot to do with that, averaging 27.3 points in those games. The Mavs haven’t had much success against quality teams this season, with a 1-7 record vs. foes with a record of .500 or better.
Key matchup: Derek Fisher/Darren Collison vs. Rajon Rondo – If Rondo isn’t the best point guard in the NBA, it doesn’t take long to get to his name on the roll call. He’s easily leading the league in assists with 12.8 per game and also averages 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Rondo actually struggled against Collison last season, scoring only 17 points on 36.4 shooting in 93 minutes when they were both on the floor, with the Pacers outscoring the Celtics by 11 in that time. On the other hand, Rondo torched Fisher for 30 points on 13-of-19 shooting in 49 minutes (plus-13 for Celtics).
Up next: at Toronto Raptors, 6 p.m. Friday