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NBA 33 Over 30 - Part 5

In the NBA 33 Over 30 series, I’ll look at 33 players over the age of 30 who are still playing like young men in the NBA. Here’s part five in this series looking at some 35-year-old players.

Jason Terry

DOB- 15 September, 1977

Boston Celtics v Portland Trail Blazers

“I apologized to Jason after the game for taking him out for defensive situations because clearly he’s our stopper now,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers on substituting Terry out in late game situations. “It’s just Jason. He does so many things for you, he’s so tough. It’s amazing how tough he is. That’s why he’s still playing. He’s a gamer.”

Only two years ago Jason Terry was sinking dagger three pointers in the playoffs en route to winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks. Jet’s game is akin to that of a dive bombing jet plane, he soars around and drops long range bombs on one and all then soars back with his Jet celebration move. This season Terry is averaging 10.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. While the Mavericks are out of the playoffs, they are still playing teams which are playoff bound. And those teams still have to go through the Mavericks and be aware of the Jet dropping bombs on them.

“I’ll take experience over youth and athleticism any day,” Terry said. “Especially in this league. When it’s a big game, when it’s the playoffs or when it’s the NBA Finals, you have to have guys that have been there before.”

Paul Pierce

DOB- 13 October, 1977

The absence of Rajon Rondo from the Celtics’ lineup owing to a season ending injury has brought into light what a dynamic talent Paul Pierce is. Rondo used to flirt with triple doubles with an alarming regularity and Paul Pierce has shown that he is also capable of doing the same without his star.

50 cent is famous for having overcome a lot of bullet wounds. Paul Pierce survived being stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back and had a bottle smashed over his head. That makes for one tough player. This season The Truth is averaging 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 34 minutes. And if the Celtics are to make it to the playoffs this year and go deep, the heaviest weight will lie on Pierce’s shoulders.

Manu Ginobili

DOB- 28 July, 1977

El Contusion was supposed to be out of the league by now. With a nickname like that you are not supposed to survive in the league for so long. Everyone thought that Ginobili’s reckless style would pave an early exit from the NBA for him. It’s a testament to his toughness that he is still balling as hard as ever. Although if you ask him he would say he’s not “As crazy as I was 8 years ago.” His teammates will raise their eyebrows at that. He is still an unpredictable and creative force and in the meticulous system of the Spurs this fits in, or rather stands out, very well. This season Ginobili is averaging 12.4 points per game with 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 23.3 minutes.

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