With the most exciting moments of the offseason behind us, Celtics Town is counting down the Celtics’ roster from 16 to one. We’ll offer speculation on the role each player has to play, and where they’ll be in the rotation as we look towards the upcoming season. If you missed the last column in this series you can check it out here.
At this point in the offseason, it’s tough to say anything new about Jason Terry.
Boston’s most important acquisition of the summer, Terry arrived with both absurd expectations and an absolute hero’s welcome. He has drawn hyperbole (“Jason Terry: A combo of Ray Allen and KG?” although admittedly this article was about his attitude, not his play on the court), premature speculation (“Is it too early to say Jason Terry will be a fan favorite in Boston before even putting on his jersey?”), as well as plenty of solid, in-depth analysis from both sites that penned the previous parenthesized sentences and many others. We’ve broken down his offense, his defense, his turnovers, his talents and where he is lacking talent. He has been picked, poked, prodded, and examined from every conceivable angle.
So what’s left to say? We know that comparing Ray Allen to Jason Terry is difficult; one might say foolish, though inevitable, as we know full well that Tom is about to launch into a lengthy paragraph comparing Ray Allen to Jason Terry (shut up).
We know that both players play very different styles. We know that Terry could never fill Allen’s role as a 3-point shooter because, quite frankly, who could? But we also know that there are areas in which the Celtics may actually improve due to the switch in lineup. Terry requires less time in every possession to get a good look, relying more on sneaky moves along the three point line and playing as a pick and roll ball handler. (I outline more of this in my section of the roundtable here.) 35.7% of Allen’s shots this season came off screens, per Synergy Sports, while Terry’s plays were considerably better mixed, none surpassing 25.8%. Allen, though clearly in spectacular shape, also can eat up quite a bit of a possession as he runs, twists, and turns through a wide variety of screens and misdirections. During this time, the offense was often otherwise stagnant, waiting to see what happened on Allen’s end before they started running their own stuff. Terry is better at creating space for himself off broken plays in which the offense falls apart, and Rondo is a master at finding players in these type of situations. The best part is that the offense can run without Terry in this situation, relying on him as a failsafe, instead of the main focus.
There. That was it, guys. Hand to God, no more Allen talk from here on out.
We’ve discussed Terry’s locker room impact at length as well. We know that he is very confident, very energetic, and very likable. We know that he will fit in well with the familial, competitive atmosphere that has permeated the Celtics’ locker room since KG arrived back in ’08. We’ve seen him working with players who might not even make the roster. We’ve heard him making brash predictions and chewed our fingernails while secretly (or not so secretly) loving the brash attitude that borders on reckless. After hearing seemingly unending doomsday predictions for Boston last season, it’s nice to hear that SOMEONE has some confidence in this team, even if it’s his job to do so.
So what do we know about Jason Terry? Everything and nothing. Everything that can be known has been covered. And yet we still can’t pretend we know what’s going to happen the first time Terry approaches the scorer’s table to enter the game as a Celtic. He will receive a rousing standing ovation and will undoubtedly high five the man he is replacing. After that? All bets are off.
Now I’m pining. Can the season just start tomorrow?
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA to commiserate about how August and September are longer than April and May. It’s science, guys.