Since the All-Star break, Jason Terry has come up big for the Boston Celtics throughout the course of games. He’s not averaging 20 points a night or taking control of a game by himself, but he’s making clutch shots in the fourth quarter and he’s playing great defense to top it off. On Monday night versus the Miami Heat, Terry shut down Ray Allen, completely taking him out of the game, and only allowing Allen to score 6 points. Terry has always been known as a clutch performer, but he’s doing it on both ends of the floor.
As the season comes to an end, and the the playoffs begin, the Celtics will need his leadership and experience, especially when he’s on the floor with other players off the bench. What Terry has done since March is exactly why he was brought to Boston. He’s hitting shots in the clutch, sharing his experience with younger players, and his calm demeanor late in games makes him an option when it comes down to the closing minutes of a ball game. Earlier in the year when he was struggling, his situation was very similar to Rasheed Wallace’s, but I think it was more of Terry still getting acclimated to the system and trying to find his shot, than pacing himself for later in the season and into playoffs.
With Boston unable to look to Ray Allen in a must need three point shot situation, Jason Terry is the man that the Celtics will go to. Terry has been gaining confidence and getting more comfortable in the offense as of the last few months, and if he can remain consistent, he could be that game saver in clutch situations. He brings much more than scoring in the fourth quarter, and with Terry adding decent defense to his repertoire, the Celtics can count on him to deny his man the ball. As I stated before, his championship experience is one of the most valuable characteristics that he brings to the team, and he could very well be that Sam Cassell figure in the playoffs for Boston.
In the first half of the season when Terry wasn’t producing the numbers fans had hoped, some questioned whether acquiring him was a mistake. But as we’ve seen him come into his own, his presence alone will make a difference in the playoffs. In 2010, Rasheed Wallace came up big for the Celtics in the playoffs. Now, maybe it’s Terry’s turn to propel Boston far into the playoffs, or back to the Finals this year. Before the season, Terry said in an interview with NBATV that he’s Boston’s missing pierce that gets them back to the Finals,. We’ll just have to wait and see if he comes through.