"You just look at the personnel…When you throw Jeff Green in the mix after being out a year, you know what he’s capable of when he’s at his best. You’ve seen Courtney Lee, how he’s performed in the past and played different positions. Jason Terry, you know what he brings to the table. He’s got championship experience and he can play multiple positions. On paper it looks great, but it’s about coming out here, coming together as a team and really trying to reach our potential. –Paul Pierce"
Sep 29, 2012; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) talks with the media after practice at the Celtics training facility. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Paul Pierce finds himself in the midst of a versatile Celtics lineup. Pierce counts himself lucky to be on a team that can come with so many different looks while still maintaining a high level of talent on the court.
Jason Terry has proven himself to be one of the best sixth men in league history, and Courtney Lee is still a year or two away from entering his prime.
Lee figures to be a fixture in the Celtics’ future plans and was obtained at such a bargain (JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams, and a 2nd round pick) that Danny Ainge is likely still patting himself on the back for the coup he pulled with the Rockets.
Terry should be good for the remainder of Boston’s immediate championship run, but doesn’t figure into long term plans since he is 35 years old and reaching the tail end of his NBA career. Nonetheless, with Avery Bradley and Lee, the C’s have the two-guards of the future to pair with their elite point guard Rajon Rondo.
The flexibility Pierce sees refers to this season, but the long-term flexibility may be just as great. Lee is on a four-year deal that will pay him $21.5 M, while Avery Bradley is still on a rookie contract (and thus will need to be re-signed in 2014-15, while the team has an option on him that will certainly be picked up following the 2013-14 campaign.
For the immediate future, expect the C’s to use a rotation that will start Lee (until Bradley returns in December), while bringing in Terry to either back up Rondo or to play two-guard if Lee needs a breather. It’s unclear how Dionte Christmas will factor into the rotation, but the 6’5″ guard should see minutes at both guard spots.
As for Pierce himself, he’ll handle the ball plenty as a prototypical point-forward. His role is defined, but with the versatility around him, he’ll be called upon to do less. That’s a good thing since Pierce is now 34 and will need more rest this season to remain fresh for the playoffs. His outlook on the versatility of the roster is accurate, but the best benefits extend beyond this season.