Why Jason Terry to the Celtics is the better fit for this team
The big news during the late afternoon on Tuesday is that the Celtics were about to acquire free-agent wing Jason Terry for the mid-level exception:
Jason Terry expected to land a three-year deal paying the mid-level exception from the Celtics, sources told Yahoo!
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 3, 2012
Now, I know what many of you are thinking. This is a sad day because it without a doubt signals that Ray Allen is likely headed to Los Angeles to be a part of the Clippers or Miami to be a part of the Miami Heat and Ray Allen won’t be back with the Boston Celtics. While I do love me some Jesus Shuttlesworth and I was one of the happiest people on Twitter when Ray Allen broke out of his slump this past spring, got hot again and started throwing up the “Jesus” sign all over the court, the chances that the Boston Celtics were going to be able to retain him were looking bleaker by the day. Ray Allen is not a guy that wants to come off the bench behind a guy like Avery Bradley and would likely not have been happy with a continued stay in Boston. It seemed time for the Boston Celtics to move on and improve the bench scoring else where.
For a while, it seemed like the choices were Jamal Crawford and O.J Mayo, but each of the players had their faults. Crawford is a nut and O.J Mayo was likely to be too expensive to bring into Boston. While both guys could have come off the bench and have done it before, it was unlikely either player could have come to Boston.This caused the Boston Celtics to throw a contract at Ray Allen on the table that was probably over-paying for him (2 years, $12 million) and pray that he would accept the offer to come off the bench for the Boston Celtics, something he already wasn’t happy about.
The Celtics are about to bring Jason Terry into Boston to play alongside Rondo and Pierce and Garnett and I for one couldn’t be happier. Jason Terry as the Boston Celtics sixth man is a huge move for the Boston Celtics that turns their bench unit from one of the worst in the league into one with a little bit more bite behind it.
The first thing is that Jason Terry is someone that has made an entire career off coming off the bench. When building a basketball team, it could be argued that the third or fourth most important guy on the team is the sixth man. It is much more of a specialized skill then people realize. The player has to be high-energy, be versatile and be able to come cold off the bench and immediately contribute against a combination of the other teams second unit and starters. In terms of his specialized skill, Terry is a scorer. In his 396 games as a reserve player, Terry has averaged 28.9 minutes a game and 14 points a game in those minutes. Comparing that to his starts, he averages 36.4 minutes in his starts and scores only 3 points more. Terry is a player that can be counted on to provide scoring no matter where his minutes come from. His versatility with regards to playing positions 1 through 3 on the basketball court make it easy to plug him into the game as well.
He is also highly energetic at both sides of the court. Many Celtics fans loved watching Keyon Dooling pour everything he had into the basketball game when he was on the court and Jason Terry also does this with the added bonus of being a better offensive player. He gets in peoples faces on defense, flys off of screens, works for his shot and has unwavering confidence. That last one is a huge part of the Terry game. Terry is a guy who possess an irrational confidence in his ability that whenever he is on the court he thinks that he is one of the ten best guys in basketball. This isn’t a bad thing for a bench player. Without that confidence, Terry would just be a middle of the road bench guy, but because he thinks he’s better than he is, he brings the team up around him.
Finally, the Celtics bench was miserable last year. Whenever they scored in bunches, it felt like a time to celebrate a national holiday. They couldn’t score and it was likely one of the reasons the Celtics lost because they had to rely too heavily on their starters. Now, the Celtics can turn to their second unit and throw guys like Jason Terry who know how to score off the bench, their bench could actually be somewhat dangerous.
Most importantly, Jason Terry is a heat killer.
What more do I need to say? I love this move by the Boston Celtics. While Ray Allen is the greatest three-point shooter of all time, Jason Terry gives the Boston Celtics more flexibility and is an immediate boost to the place where the Celtics needed the most help which is the bench.