What Jason Terry will bring to Boston


With Ray Allen going to the Miami Heat, Boston will need to find other options at the two guard position. Of course we know that Avery Bradley is going to start, but the addition of Jason Terry at a bargain price of only the mini mid-level will bolster the positional depth.

Terry is as good of a player as Allen is right now. Of course he doesn’t shoot at the same clip of 45 from three land like Allen does–the Celtics will surely miss that–but I think that 38 is good enough with the other things that Terry brings to the table to make up for it.

Jason Terry is a better ball handler than Ray Allen is for one. He always has been. Early in his career, Terry played a lot of point guard with the Hawks and the Mavericks. He’s not the best facilitator, but creating his own look off of the dribble is something that he’s never struggled with. He’s always been more of a scorer than a shooter until the latter part of his career.

Initially, Terry wasn’t a good catch and shoot player. Now, though, he’s adapted his game to his age and is a great spot-up guy. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Terry ranked 21st in the league in converting spot-up shots. He scored 1.18 ppp off of these opportunities. As a third or fourth option for the Celtics on the offensive end of the floor he’ll be sure to get plenty more of those. Let’s take a look at some of the spot-up plays Terry was involved in in Dallas.

Most of them were afforded when he wasn’t the first or second option of the play. Also, the offense turned really random in some cases. There were times where a play just needed to be made and Terry sat back and waited for his opportunity to touch the ball. With the way that Rivers and Rondo use random offense, Terry should thrive here.

In the video above, the original play hadn’t resulted in point but the Mavericks got an offensive rebound. Jason Kidd passes it to Terry and it’s almost stolen; however, because of Jeff Teague’s gamble Terry is able to catch and drive. That’s something that he’s very comfortable doing. He’s able to knock down a reverse lay-up as the Hawks defense tries to recover.

In the play above the ball is being swung around the defense to the opposite side of the floor. The inital play is dead and the offense turns random. When the ball is passed the Vince Carter, the ball is again almost stolen. The Thunder tried to get out in transition and score points but precise passing is king here. Carter gets the feed and swings it to Terry one more time for the open three that he knocks down.

Enough of the spot-ups though. They’ll be there for sure. But when watching some Mav’s tape, I found something that was pretty interesting. A Dirk and Terry pick and roll with Dirk as the ball handler. This was an unorthodox play, but it definitely worked. We saw this during a lot of their 2011 championship run as well. During the playoffs, they unleased it more often because of its effectiveness along with running Dirk off of staggered screens.

They ran this play 26 times during this past season and Terry thrived off of it. He scored 1.35 ppp off of it which ranks third in the NBA among qualifying roll men. He converted 12 of 23 opportunities off of the catch for points and also converted seven of 13 opportunities from three off of this play. Its an exceptional look and it makes me wonder of Rivers will continue this during Terry’s time with the Celtics. First, lets look at the play a few times.

Above, Gordon Hayward is guarding Terry and Paul Milsap is on Nowitzki. Hayward was confused by the Pick and Roll and lost Terry in his coverage. Milsap saw what was happening and tried to get out to Terry but it was too late.

In this next play the Rockets covered it well initially. Kevin Martin smothers Dirk and forced him to pick up his dribble. They’ve switched on the screen which means that Patrick Patterson is forced to cover Terry. Here is where the only mistake in coverage comes. Patterson slides down as if Terry was going to roll to the basket. Instead, he pops and is allowed a wide open three. Patterson gets a good contest but it comes too late.

In the video above, the Oklahoma City Thunder are stuck with the job of covering this deadly combination. Both Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka double Dirk. Terry pops and receives the ball. Russell Westbrook’s athleticism allows him to recover on Terry at an angle but he’s out of control defensively as Terry drives. Terry uses this against him and draws a foul.

Think about if Terry was running this with Paul Pierce who has a similar game to Nowitzki with his back to the basket. Of course, Pierce is a better ball handler than Dirk but that can only be a plus for the Celtics. It’d be an effective weapon to use–especially in the fourth quarter.

Terry brings a lot to the table here in Boston. I’m excited to see what this is going to look like.