Smith Adds Fuel To Terry’s Fire For Game 5

NEW YORK – Jason Terry never lacks for confidence. But it seems like he sometimes needs a little motivation.

Recall Game 2 of the 2011 Finals, when Dwyane Wade posed in front of the Dallas Mavericks’ bench after his 3-pointer gave the Miami Heat a 15-point lead with just over seven minutes to go in the game.

In the ensuing timeout, Terry turned to teammate Dirk Nowitzki and said, “There’s no way we’re going out like this.”

Fueled by Wade’s showboating (and by the prospect of going down 0-2), the Mavs finished the game on a 22-5 run to even the series. And without that comeback, the Heat are probably the two-time defending champs. Nowitzki capped that game off with a bunch of big shots, but who scored the first six points (and eight of the first 13) of that run? Jason Terry.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter of Friday’s Game 3 between the Knicks and Celtics, when, with the Knicks up 78-59, J.R. Smith‘s intentional elbow knocked Terry to the floor, getting Terry fired up and getting Smith ejected. Ironically, there were just over seven minutes to go in the game.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, they didn’t have Nowitzki on Friday and the league’s 20th-ranked offense wasn’t coming back from a 19-point deficit in seven minutes. But Terry’s fuel clearly carried over to Game 4, when he scored the Celtics’ final nine points of overtime to bring this series back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT).

Afterward, Celtics coach Doc Rivers mentioned the idea that Smith’s elbow “changed the events for all of us.”

“Definitely, Jason Terry was angry that it happened,” Rivers said. “He let his teammates know [Saturday] and [Sunday]. But he’s just a fighter.”

Elbow aside, this has been an ugly series, the slowest-paced and, by far, the least-efficient series of the first round. Both teams have been held under a point per possession over the four games, and both are desperate for whatever offense they can get.

In Game 4, the Knicks had a scorer (Smith) taken away from them, and the Celtics had a scorer (Terry) finally find his rhythm. The result was Boston’s first win of the series.

If the Celtics are going to stay alive again on Wednesday, they’ll need Terry to keep making shots, because the Celtics still lack a point guard to create offense and the Knicks are going to keep swarming Paul Pierce.

If Terry needs any more motivation to take this series back to Boston, Smith is happy to provide it.

As Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe writes, Smith added more fuel to the fire at practice on Tuesday:

J.R. Smith played dumb. The Knicks guard had just been asked about the performance of Jason Terry in Game 4, a performance that yielded Boston’s final 9 points of the game, in overtime.

That would be the same Jason Terry who goaded Smith into elbowing him in the face in Game 3, an offense for which Smith received a one-game suspension.

“Who?” Smith said. “I don’t even know who that is.”

It didn’t stop there.

Asked another question about Terry, Smith kept up the charade.

“Who?” he said again. “Who is that?”

And so, with the Knicks up, three games to one, in their first-round series against the Celtics, there has been another shot of adrenaline for Boston, courtesy of a player who seems completely confident in his own abilities and his own effect on the series.

Asked what would have happened had he been on the court in Game 4, Smith said, “Oh, yeah. It would’ve been over. I would’ve been playing golf today.”

Smith may be right and the Knicks may put this series to bed on Wednesday. But Sunday’s Game 4 was about as intense as a 3-0, close-out game gets. Now, Smith has ensured something similar in Game 5. It’s not like the Celtics weren’t the league’s most prideful team anyway.

The Knicks still have the luxury of home-court advantage, but given how both teams have struggled offensively, there’s not a larger margin for error in this series. Game 5 may come down to which sixth man can turn motivation into production.

41 Comments

  1. @ kavika6-LMAO-LMAO-LMAO-i agree for sure, @ least for jr-LMAO!

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  4. All jr did was piss Terry off real, real, reeeeal bad & of course all the Celts, good luck w/ that ny!!! :)
    GO GET IT CELTICS!!!
    ONE GAME @ A TIME!!!
    CELTICS-HORAAH-UBUNTU!!!

    • johnnie says:

      what jr smith said will not only motivate jason terry, it motivates smith himself too coz he has to live up to his words.every game is game 7

  5. kavika6 says:

    After watching that Smith interview it reminded me of why I think drug testing is needed in the NBA.

  6. capt'n crunch says:

    Good now we got a series goin. Happy for Celtics, Ain’t going down without a fight.

  7. SoFlaFan says:

    Guess this will teach the Knicks, Karma’s a B, as in Boston, who won tonight!! Never wear black to “plan a funeral” when the game is yet to be played…….. BIG MISTAKE!!

  8. purpleman says:

    Why does the moderators keep removiny my posts.? I made a comment on people calling JR a thug and they remove it..

  9. k.garnett says:

    Boston wins game 5 !! 92 -86 final score

    **end of conversation**

  10. peace man says:

    YO PEACE OUT DAWGS

  11. krenki says:

    it fuls bot teams it just make the games mor fizical, wen players get tengelt up it makes all of the play mor vaiolent, but the celtics hardli won the game and melo one of the worst games of the year but stil ny forced a ot

  12. Juan says:

    whats with people calling people thugs? im used to seeing people hanging from bridges decapitated bodies on the street growing up in Juarez. What JR did was even that bad not even enough to get suspended. Anyways stop calling people thugs when you havent even seen what a real thug is. Geez

  13. Freida says:

    Don’t like J.R. Smith and don’t like J. Terry but I am glad they suspended Smith as he will think next time making a stupid move like that especially if they play the Heat. Just like KG, he has anger issues.

  14. gerald martin says:

    ok, let’s put this team away and get some rest.

  15. Peter says:

    Lol isn’t this the same JR Smith who needed special treatment from Woodson just to turn him from a useless and inconsistent head case that nobody wanted into somebody who actually had some value?

    Hasn’t Smith been kicked from pretty much every team because of his stupidity and maturity issues?

    Wasn’t Terry the #2 scoring option on a championship Dallas team?

  16. Knickka says:

    Some of you guys are brain dead, but I always forget everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Jason Terry established himself at the age of what? 33-34? J.R. is 27. Stop regurgitating on your keyboard guys,

  17. Flamengo says:

    Yeah man ! J.R Smith Go over them !!!!
    KNICKS CHAMPIONS NBA !

    • Le2e says:

      Lol champions, not gonna happen. Granted you have a 99% chance to win this series, its your first playoff series win in 13 YEARS! You got a bunch of immature and inexperienced players. If youre lucky and slip past indiana in the second round the heat are gonna do the same thing they did to you last season, make sure you wear black for those games and hope they type up a nice eulogy for you

  18. reynol pers says:

    JR Smith has the strangest way of playing basketball I have ever seen. It looks like every shot is a miracle and sometimes I don’t know how he makes these shots. Is it me or it just plain crazy how he dribbles the ball and shoots. It reminds me of when we played in the park and shots where fired in the prayer it went in. Anyways he talks the same way he plays I cant understand him when he speaks.

  19. hi says:

    its easy to walk away and say nothing when you got the last shot in

  20. Tiffany says:

    Jason Terry is the worst.
    I am not a Smith Fan, but I appreciate the ” Jason Terry who? comment!!!!
    I want Terry to pull down his socks and play basketball.
    And I totally agree with Steve… KG is the biggest thug in the NBA
    Series will end tonight. I am sure my husband will cry as he is a Celtics fan…

  21. ac says:

    Also, not to harp on the past but it’s pretty ridiculous that they ejected JR AND suspended him the next game and did NOTHING to Terry, who actually wanted to fight (while Smith walked away saying nothing). Its normal policy to issue technicals to both sides when a potential fight breaks out on the court. Regardless of whether Terry was right or wrong (personally on the reply it still looks like JR was earnestly trying to draw a foul with no malice), the fact that he – not JR – was up in arms and had to be held back means he should’ve been hit with an automatic technical too. Everybody is making WAY too big a deal of this.

  22. Tee Tee says:

    JR is too funny! I love him a lot. I always have and always will so it doesn’t matter what people say or think of him. JR was an outstanding 6th man for Knicks. Forget what he did to Terry because I would’ve done the same thing too. That’s just me. Go Knicks! Let’s wrap this up so you can play golf, Earl!

  23. Yeaaaaah, now terry and smith should go at each other in tonights game and show whos the boooooosssssssss!
    Gaaaaaaah!

  24. steve says:

    first off there is no bigger thug than k.g. secondly the series will end tonight with or without j.r. smith. n.y. is just too deep and boston just too old i just hope the game is competitive

  25. James says:

    Slow news day huh?

  26. TTKIN says:

    I still think Terry came over and hacked JR first. Smith shouldnt have thrown an elbow, but Terry easily couldve been called for a foul 2 seconds before the elbow.

    • TIC says:

      finally someone who knows what they saw and is saying. I watched the game and Terry was taunting JR the night causing JR to retaliate back.

  27. stingray says:

    JR smith? just an ordinary knicks player…J Terry already established his name in the league but Smith not yet proven anything in this league…

  28. mike says:

    J R SMITH is a fake gangster. Jamal Crawford should have gotten 6th man this year….easily. Jason terry is playing terrible but as someone pointed out, he has a ring. Soooo, smith has some more work to do before he talks so big.

  29. ac says:

    John,

    I can’t believe you’re even writing about this. Jason Terry is such a baby and has been in a free fall the past two years from a once-decent player to a barely mediocre contributor.

    Knicks win in double digits tonight. That way jet can get an early rest to tend to his poor hurt little nose.

    • aaaaaa says:

      You will be sorely disappointed if you believe that they’ll win by double digits. If they even do win it will be by 5 at the most. This is going to be a great game.

  30. hulko says:

    im a celtics lover but its a wrap for us

  31. George says:

    JR Smith “doesn’t know” much anyways so Jason Terry shouldn’t be mad.

    If anyone heard an interview with J.R. Smith they’d conclude that he has a heavy learning disability. I doubt the dude knows how to hold a pencil.

  32. xpact says:

    dude b4 u became a six man terry done it already the difference he got a RING to show fpr it… ask again who is smiths????? ah the guy who elbow former six man and champ JTERRY

  33. Kilroy says:

    Jr smith is a thug. Talented but still a thug