Jason Terry put his faith in these Mavericks in ink. On the inside of his right biceps.
With one more win, he’ll get to keep his tattoo of the NBA’s championship trophy — plus have the real thing.
Terry had his title hopes injected into his arm in October, during a get-together at teammate DeShawn Stevenson’s house. At the start of the playoffs, Terry vowed to have it removed if the Mavericks didn’t win it all.
Thanks largely to him regaining his shooting touch in that inked-up arm, Terry and the Mavericks flew to Miami yesterday, the day after a 112-103 victory in Game 5, closer to a title than ever before in franchise history. It could belong to them as soon as tomorrow night.
“We put ourselves in the situation we wanted, to go back there with this opportunity,’’ center Tyson Chandler said. “But we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We can’t get caught up in all the hoopla.’’
In their previous 30 seasons, the closest the Mavericks came to being champs was in 2006, when they held a 2-0 series lead over the Heat and a big, late lead in Game 3.
Dallas ended up blowing it in six games. The Mavericks had to watch the Heat celebrate on their own home floor. So the chance to close it out in Game 6, in Miami, is a delicious bit of payback to Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, the only holdovers.
“Game 6 is Game 7 for us,’’ Terry said. “We want to play like there’s no tomorrow. If we do that, I have no doubt in my mind we can be successful. We must come out aggressively.’’
The Mavericks have done that all postseason.
Every time they’ve gotten three wins in a series, the fourth has followed right away. They are 3-0 in knockout chances. Only one was on the road, but it was in one of the NBA’s most hostile arenas, in Portland. Dallas already has tamed the Miami crowd, handing the Heat their first home loss of the postseason in Game 2.
“It’s going to be hard to go in there in Miami and win, but we know we are capable of doing it,’’ forward Shawn Marion said. “It’s going to be crazy. We know what’s at stake here. It’s going to be exciting.’’
Ratings rise The preliminary television rating for Game 5 was a 12.6, up 25 percent from the last time the same teams met in the championship series. Game 5 in 2006 earned a 10.1. The rating was down slightly from the 12.8 for the fifth game of last season’s Celtics-Lakers series, the only higher Game 5 rating for the last seven years . . . In the first four games of the Finals, Nowitzki scored 49 percent of Dallas’s points (44 of 90) in the fourth quarter. In Game 5, he scored only 8 of the Mavericks’ last 28 points. Nowitzki finished with 29 overall . . . Miami guard Mike Bibby hit the century mark in Game 5. It was his 100th NBA playoff game, all of them starts.
Jackson thinking big Mark Jackson was every bit the bold and boisterous personality on his first day as coach of the Warriors that he was as a player and a broadcast analyst.
Declaring that “the Bay Area will never be the same,’’ Jackson promised sweeping changes to the perennially underachieving franchise. He was introduced by the Warriors at a swanky San Francisco hotel across the bay from where the team plays in Oakland that had all the flair of the area’s new coach.
The Brooklyn native and former Knicks point guard said the Warriors will make the area “New York City West’’ in NBA circles, attracting the coveted free agents the franchise has always struggled to sign. He even predicted championship banners would follow.
The Warriors have made the playoffs just once since 1994 and haven’t won an NBA title since 1975.
Jackson agreed to a $6 million, three-year deal to take over a team that went 36-46 last season.
“We’re not going to accept mediocrity,’’ said Jackson, who has never been a head coach at any level.