Behind enemy lines: Jason Terry

January, 14, 2013
1/14/13
10:00
AM ET
A week ago today, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett made headlines for getting into it on the court and then after the game in the bowels of Madison Square Garden.

That night, the Celtics, led by Garnett's physical play down the stretch guarding Anthony, muscled the Knicks out of their own arena with the 102-96 victory. The Knicks went on to lose their next two games to other tough-minded teams, the Pacers and Bulls, which stirred up Mike Woodson to spend Saturday's practice going through film of their weak defense.

In fact, he's planning to organize several challenging practices before the team faces the Pistons on Thursday, in order to get his guys to play mean -- just like KG did last Monday.

While the Knicks lost and Anthony was suspended, they have the Celtics game to thank for teaching them a major lesson -- one in which Jason Terry said, in an exclusive interview with ESPNNewYork.com recently, "it's Eastern Conference basketball at its best."

"You're playing at the highest level," he said. "I came from Dallas where it's west coast style -- it's up and down, it's transition, it's run and gun. On the east coast, it's grind it out, it's physical, every possession counts. That's the way the game was played the other night, and it's playoff basketball."

Regarding Garnett, Terry didn't get into his trash talking with Anthony, but he did say the veteran power forward is the team's engine.

"Kevin Garnett is definitely the most inspirational," he said. "He's always going to come with something that gets you inspired for that game, and it usually depends on who we're playing. It ranges from movie scripts to standard, "Man, let's go kick somebody's expletive."

While the Knicks improved defensively against the Hornets, there is still much work ahead. Their pick-and-roll defense was subpar at the start, and they allowed 42 points in the paint, while only scoring 28 themselves. But as Anthony said on Saturday, there is "light at the end of the tunnel," as Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert are set to return soon.

Here are several other interesting nuggets from Terry:

On former Mavericks teammate, Jason Kidd: "I was really impressed with his basketball IQ and knowledge of the game. And then his durability -- still to play in this league as long as he has, at the high level that he has, it just speaks wonders about his ability to endure and his body still to hold up. ... I call him him the godfather because he's like a mentor to me."

On Kidd's 3-point shooting (42.5 percent entering Sunday): "When you watched our routines, he implemented that into his game and started to knock down 3s like crazy. We had these heated competitions before and after practice, and we were having major shootouts. Before I was saying like, 'Jason, you can't shoot.' It was kind of like a joke, but it took him about two or three months, and he was just knocking down 3s left and right."

On another ex-Mavericks teammate, Tyson Chandler: "He's one of the main reasons why we won the championship [in 2011]. He's all over the place. He's another guy that I look at and say, 'He's going to go down as one of the greatest centers to ever play the game.'"

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.4 3.3 0.8 36.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 3.9
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3