Nowitzki: Terry needs to step up in the clutch

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Dallas is now 1-1 in clutch situations in these Finals, but Dirk Nowitzki has an idea of how they could get a little bit better. ESPN Dallas’ Jeff Caplan has the report:

“They keep sticking [LeBron James] on Jet in the fourth quarters and he’s been doing a good job,” Nowitzki said. “Jet hasn’t really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to.”

Terry, who has gone a combined 0-7 from the floor in the fourth quarters of the Mavericks’ two losses, acknowledges James has done a good job on him late in games, but doesn’t think James’ defensive success on him will continue:

“They know to take me out of the fourth quarter, which they didn’t do in Game 2,” Terry said of the Heat’s choice to turn to James defensively, “then they got a good chance.”

Added Terry: “Let’s see if [James] can defend me like that for seven games.”

“I had two opportunities,” Terry said. “One in the corner for 3, LeBron closed out. The other one in the right corner, LeBron closed out again, didn’t get enough air under it.

“Hey, it happens. If I get those same shots in Game 4, I bet I make them.”

Terry was a key part of the Mavericks’ incredible Game 2 comeback, and taking him out of the Mavericks’ offense in the fourth quarter makes life much easier on the Heat. And while LeBron did do a good job guarding Derrick Rose in the fourth quarters of the Heat-Bulls series, Terry is a better shooter than Rose, so he will have his opportunities to score. Dallas’ ultimate success or failure in the Finals may come down to whether he converts them or not.

PBT Extra: Fan votes from twitter on MVP, other awards

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We reached the middle of the NBA season, which is a good time to consider where things stand for the end-of-season awards such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year. We have made our picks and even broken them down in a podcast.

Now it was time to ask you who you thought should win awards.

I put it out there on Twitter in some polls, and I cover your responses in this PBT Extra. I’m with you on Brad Stevens for Coach of the Year, although I think it’s close. Did you choose LeBron James or James Harden for MVP? Watch and find out.

Michael Carter-Williams and Tim Frazier ejected for altercation, leading to hilarious Dwight Howard free throws (video)

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Jason Smith pushed down Michael Carter-Williams while going for a rebound. Carter-Williams pulled Smith to the floor. Tim Frazier flew in heated.

It was more than a typical NBA altercation – Carter-Williams clenched his fist, though never swung – but it wasn’t quite a fight. It was just reserves getting feisty late in a blowout, the Hornets’ 133-109 win over the Wizards on Wednesday. Carter-Williams and Frazier were given double technical fouls and ejected.

One catch: Smith was called for personally fouling Carter-Williams, who was due free throws. With Carter-Williams unavailable, Washington could pick his replacement at the line.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks chose Dwight Howard, a poor free-throw shooter who’d been resting the entire fourth quarter and surely figured his night was over. Maybe it was only about Howard’s team-worst 53% shooting from the line, but it’s also possible Brooks was trying to make an opponent uncomfortable.

The Charlotte crowd went wild, and Howard only added to the fervor.

He sunk both free throws – padding his stats (18 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and two steals) – and blew Brooks a kiss. Howard might appreciate the extra points Brooks afforded him, but they’ll likely come at a cost. Howard celebrated with the Sam Cassell/big-balls dance, which usually draws a fine from the NBA.

Kent Bazemore hits game-winner to lift Hawks over Pelicans (video)

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Just when it seemed as if the Pelicans were rolling… they lose to the lowly Hawks.

This was the second game of a back-to-back after beating the Celtics in overtime, and New Orleans looked the part, blowing a 15-point lead in the final 19 minutes.

Kent Bazemore‘s jumper with 2.1 seconds left stood as the game-winner when DeMarcus Cousins missed a rushed post-up on the other end.

Jalen Rose calls Paul Pierce petty to his face (video)

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Paul Pierce is being petty about Isaiah Thomas‘ tribute video.

And that’s from someone who empathizes with Pierce’s point of view.

When retiring a player’s number, teams tastefully use stoppages to show highlights and tributes to the player. The whole night, not just the moment of raising a number into the rafters, can be about celebrating the player. It’s reasonable for Pierce to want the entire package.

But to go on television and advocate for not showing Thomas’ video? To continue the campaign after Thomas made clear how important his video was to him? To tell the Celtics not to show a short video for Thomas during introductions?

It’s way too far.

Too many people around Pierce enabled his flawed approach. Jalen Rose put that to a pointed stop.

Rose on ESPN:

I’ve got say a word for you, fam. I think it was petty.

On Paul Pierce’s part.

I love Paul. This is my brother. Because to me, there are going to be all type of announcements that happen in the 48 minutes during that game. All types. Including Isaiah Thomas could be one of them. It does not take away from your situation. Like Kobe’s, it happened during the game. Because they’re doing yours post-game.

The look on Pierce’s face while Rose was talking!