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The Multifaceted Jason Terry

 

In a proper context—the 2012-13 Boston Celtics—comparing Jason Terry with the predictable production that Ray Allen would’ve likely created is a needless exercise. The former is not replacing the latter from a strategic standpoint. If he were, the Celtics would be a lost hiker, wandering the forest in aimless circles, hands pressed to the sky wondering why no progress has been made.

At this point in his career, Allen is able to bring only one really effective object to the battlefield (IED’s plotted from behind the three-point line) while Jason Terry—no young man in his own right—still comes fully equipped with a duffel bag full of varying weaponry at his disposal. To waste it by trying to replicate what Allen would’ve promised would be wasteful.

Both will go down as two of the best shooters who ever picked up a basketball. Both have made major contributions to a championship winner, and tasted the sourest of Finals defeat. Both were unrestricted free agents heading into this summer, and both chose to part ways with the organization that served as a platform for their most ultimate success. Being that both are well into their 30s—at positions that require miles upon miles of resistant-free running—the multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts each of them signed will probably be their last.

Allen is gone, and Terry is here. This we know. What’s to surmise from the change is one certainty: From a basketball point of view, there’s almost no chance the Celtics are labeling Jason Terry as Ray Allen’s replacement. I know he said during his introductory press conference that he’d do absolutely anything the team asked of him both on and the court, but if Terry’s called upon to constantly run around stagger screens and become the focal point of obvious misdirection plays based on him catching the basketball and then shooting it, I’d be surprised if nary a single word of protest bubbled up from one of the proudest, and smartest, players in the league.

To use him in the same capacity would be a slap in the face to all things “versatility”. Jason Terry wants the ball in his hands just as much as the Celtics want Jason Terry to have the ball in his hands. This is what will happen, and in the end, both parties will be thankful in how the clutter-stained process of free agency managed to work itself out.

The Celtics now have access to not only one of the most respected shooters in the league, but a fatally dangerous pick and roll instigator. After riding the play with Dirk Nowitzki by his side all the way to a title, Terry now finds himself with two new teammates with the exact same skill set. Alongside Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett, running the pick and roll in a green jersey will be as seamless a transition as any incoming free agent will have with any new set of teammates in a long, long time.

According to Synergy, over 25 percent of Terry’s offensive production last season came as the ball handler running a pick and roll. Here are a few clips that show just how much of a defense’s attention Terry grabs when he receives a high screen.

Because they’re two of the most feared shooters in NBA history, whenever Nowitzki slips a high screen with Terry as the ball handler, defenses are immediately resigned to helplessness. In this situation, Dirk’s defender (or Bass and Garnett’s next season) is forced to either stand by him, allowing a split second of opportunity for Terry to get a step on his man. Effective options are few and far between, and the best result is either a wide open shot for Dirk, or Terry squirming into the lane and finding a teammate ready to score (another benefit of having Courtney Lee, the league’s deadliest corner 3-point shooter last season) or getting all the way to the rim and tossing in a floater.

Now, here is where the most engaged Celtics fan might point out that on Dallas, Terry HAD to handle the ball. In Boston, there’s a player named Rajon Rondo who’s usually tasked with that responsibility, and things work out just fine when decisions fizzle through his brain before anyone else’s. Being that there’s a likely chance Terry and Rondo end up playing quite a bit together over the next few years, how will this all work itself out?

Here are my thoughts: With Terry on the court, Doc Rivers now has the option of playing Rondo—one of the most athletic, intelligent improvisers I’ve ever seen play basketball—away from the action for the first time in his career, and to tell you the truth, it’s pretty exciting stuff. With his reputation as a below average shooter (a false one, I might add) still permeating throughout the league, defenders tend to help off Rondo with just the right amount of carelessness to allow him the proper avenue of finding shots closer and closer to the basket. Not to say that Rondo off the ball should be the team’s primary offensive game plan, but one of the most underrated parts of his game is an ability to scurry into open space, especially along the baseline. At the very least it makes this team more difficult to defend, more so than they’ve been in the last four years.

When you splash a player as dangerous as Jason Terry into any offense, doors open for everybody else. The result in Boston? Expect a once predictable Celtics offense to slowly but surely grow some complicated layers.

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

  • CG12

    It will be opening to C's fans to see what a guy who can really shoot AND handle it can do. Ray's weak handle was one of the dirty, quiet, secrets of recent C's team. You could count on him for several ball-handling gaffes a game. And at least one ill-advised, slow-boat, cross-court pass, after his weak handle allowed him to get trapped on the sideline. Terry is not the pure shooter from distance that Ray is, but he is a very good shooter from distance, a capable passer, and possessor of a solid mid-range game. with all that has gone on in the off-season, I haven't really had or taken the time to think about what a freaking awesome addition JET is. The C's haven't had a player of his caliber and impactability (?) coming off the bench during the New Big 3 era. The offensive sludginess of back-up units has been one of the team's worst features recently. Having a genuine playmaker out there will be so refreshing.

  • High Rollers

    Yup. Jet should rock the boat. In a good way.

  • Phil

    I hadn't thought about Rondo playing sort of an Avery Bradley role alongside Terry occasionally, but it is interesting. The fact that we've watched the team grind to a screeching halt over fourth quarters the last few years when Pierce takes over ball handling and Rondo plays off the ball gives me a little pause though. I don't think Rondo's nearly as comfortable in that role as he is with the ball, and I'm not sure how quickly he can become a true off the ball threat. Rondo's not as bad of a shooter as advertised, but there are still much worse shots for a defense to give up than ~40-45% long twos. Bradley knocking down the three was critical to his offensive game, and without the ability to always get a long two off (inherent in big guys,) or a three point shot, I'm not sure Rondo can even be the player Bradley was last year off the ball.

    That said, Doc found a way for a lineup with two guards who can't shoot to be the best one on the team, I'm sure he can figure out how two great ball handlers can coexist.

    I do love the prospective KG/Terry PnR though. I don't know if it was done on purpose or not, but those two picks by Dirk were pretty terrible. KG is regarded as one of the best in the league at setting picks, and while Dirk is a better shooter, Terry may find himself with an extra step to work with consistently. Overall, I'm excited about the possibilities Terry brings, even if its unclear how everything will fit right now.

  • James Patrick

    I just felt like a lost reader, wandering the forest in aimless circles, hands pressed to the sky wondering… are we entering a slow month for good material on Celtics Hub? lol

    • High Rollers

      You can count on Pina to find something to talk about. He's absolutely right about Rondo. Our fearless leader absolutely thrives when no one's watching him or accounting for him. With the ball in his hands all the time, he still manages to pull off incredible feats and make them look easy. But with another more-than-capable ball handler out there at the same time — and not named Paul Pierce for once — we should see Baseline Rondo feasting on unwitting prey nightly. Definitely a welcome dimension to a precise and sometimes too-lean offensive scheme.

    • Marc

      How is this not good material? It's basketball. You know, what happens on the court, not who signed where or what an overgrown infant does to ruin his reputation in Florida.

  • zach

    Rondo loves to post up and is often effective – he is such a great passer and is obvious fast and stronger than he appears. I can see him taking advantage of many PGs in the post with Terry setting up the play and then spotting up for a 3

  • Chris Fjord

    Good analysis, except Rondo did have to go stand in the corner without the ball in 2008 quite a bit while the C's ran a two-man game with Pierce and KG, with lots of rushed jumpshots with the clock running down.

    Assuming JET eventually ends up with the second unit, he should be the primary ballhandler there, but I'm not liking it with Rondo on the court.

    • High Rollers

      Why would we get '08 Rondo with Jet on the floor rather than, say, '10 playoffs against Cleveland or Orlando? If you want to picture Nine out there mucking things up for the opposition off the ball as much as on it, look no further. He can squirm in just about anywhere and make a play.

  • janos

    hi micheals is janos
    thank you post video rondos and also new guy i am look forward know him play.
    was VERY disapoint learn here see JasonTerryis multifaced, better just be good man and not tell one thing one person, separate thing other person.' but if play nba at toplevels guess weare stuck sometime thisman charecter bad?

  • Nate

    I loved the article made 100% sense
    The celtics have the potential to be a ridiculously efficient well oiled offensive machine next year I love the thought of rondo being able to play off the ball for 10-15 minutes per game and think it will take his game to a new level (the guys ridiculously talented and feel he only gets better every year-face it-when he’s engaged he is a potential triple double threat on a per game basis’ I think rondo is gonna be fully engaged and I will not miss rays annoying turnovers when he dribbles
    Go celtics #18!!!!

  • Jason Sullivan

    I think Terry with KG and Bass won’t happen as often as you think, Terry running the same pick n pop play with Sullinger and Jeff Green on the 2nd unit should be just as fruitful though

  • skeeds

    Pick n roll wins rings. Terry belongs to the handful of players that have absolutely mastered this scheme, along with maybe Nash, Ginobili and no one else that comes to mind right now.
    That glorious stagger screen they ran with Kidd and Nowitzki in 2011 seriously won them the title. Every time the Heat gathered momentum, Carlisle ran that complex pick n roll and through 7 games Miami never managed to defend it right.

    Doc must be rubbing his hands about all the pairs he could run this play with. Terry & Bass or KG for the "pop" with Rondo and Bradley cutting. Or Terry & Jeff Green or Wilcox for the hard cut to the basket, with Lee, Dooling or PP on the wings for the 3ball? For once, we're allowed to be excited about the kind of offense we can put together! Finally!!!

    • NHBluesMan

      6 games… not 7

  • High Rollers

    Risking ire here… but…

    Janos, you’re one to talk. Or is Janus?

    Just kidding.

    If multi-faced means opposing guards can’t/won’t read Jet’s moves, I’m all for it.

    Also, seems like a good guy.

  • AdelaideCelticFan

    Guys – multi-faceted means having lots of good attributes. Ray (who I love) only really brought one skill (3 ball) while JET can do a few different things at a high level.

    Great article Michael. I always love seeing video on here! Keep it up during these slow weeks!

  • smalltownID

    "With his reputation as a below average shooter (a false one, I might add)" you just lost my respect with this comment

    • Trav

      you would be surprised. percentages say he is actually about average. From one spot in the mid range he actually leads the league. imagine that, Rondo leads the league in fg % on a right elbow jumper.

  • Nothing's Impossible

    It's funny how every Celtic fan is falling in love with Jason Terry. Everyone was bashing him and didn't want him when he was a free agent due to his age. Yet now, Celtic fans are pointing out his good traits. Blah, Blah, Blah. You might think I'm trolling, but I've read this blog quite a few times. And almost NO ONE wanted Terry this offseason.

  • Nothing's Impossible

    This is not to say that everything written is not true about Terry. He is a versatile guard off the bench that can play SG or be the PG for the second unit. I don't like Jason Terry, but he isn't a scrub.

  • Nate

    The second I read the cs were signing terry I flipped in excitement face it the guys a baller and I think he’s got at least a few more years of high level bball left in him
    I also wanted ray back but at this point of their careers terry brings wayyyyyyyy more to the table than ray and Courtney lee is a more rounded player than ray that I don’t think we would have got if ray was back

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    Wow, amazing to know.they are converted into grading system.this is the excellent way of representation that helps me alot to know understand the things easily.

  • https://www.facebook.com/public/Hayder-Al-Ani Hayder al-ani

    All the best Jason Terry for the great achievement…I liked the way of work and appreciation of work..Thanks for share this info..:)

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