Jason Terry Keeps Boston Celtics' Championship Hopes Alive
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, unrestricted free agent shooting guard Terry and the Boston Celtics have agreed to terms on a deal. The deal would reportedly be worth $15.6 million over three years.
Terry spoke with Celtics president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers on the first day of free agency Sunday. Rivers told Yahoo! Sports he hopes Boston can still re-sign Ray Allen, in addition to adding Terry.
To be able to add Terry to the Celtics' rotation will help this team dramatically in both the regular season and playoffs. The addition of the top-notch sixth man gives the Celtics major scoring depth off the bench, a talent who wants the ball in crunch time, and a man with an NBA title under his belt.
The standout factor in this deal is the amount of help Terry can be for the Celtics' second unit. Time and time again in the 2011-12 season, the team's bench rotation had its scoring woes. Led by Paul Pierce at 19.4 points per game, it was Boston's starting five that had to do the majority of the scoring throughout each game.
It was because of this that the team averaged just 91.8 points per game, struggling mightily to get enough offense on many nights. The two opening losses to the Miami Heat in the conference finals were direct indicators of this as the Celtics were outscored 41-21 by the Heat bench and took a 2-0 series deficit. Game 2 was the most telling, with the Celtics scoring just seven points off the bench in a 115-111 OT loss to the Heat. Rondo scored a whopping 44 points, and still Boston would fall short.
Terry averaged a solid 15.1 points per game last season, the fourth-highest scoring average of players who came off the bench. He also shot a respectable 43.1 percent from the field and 88.2 percent from the free-throw line. His ability to knock down three-point shots and use his quickness to get to the rim will be vital for the second unit.
In turn, added scoring off the bench will allow the Celtics starting five to expend significantly less energy on the offensive end. Come crunch time, Boston will be able to put teams away more easily. Not to mention, Terry is known for his late-game scoring ability as well. If Allen decides to take his talents elsewhere, the team will undoubtedly need Terry to hit big shots down the stretch in his absence.
Despite the mere $5 million a year he will cost and his scoring ability, the most attractive thing about the acquisition is that Terry is battle-tested. He has an NBA championship under his belt, and has gotten it done against this same Miami Heat that won the 2012 title.
Adding another veteran who knows how to win a title can only help this team's chances next season. Terry will bring great toughness, as he is notorious for being a guy that plays the game as fearlessly as any player in the league. He was the first player to call out LeBron James in the 2011 NBA Finals, and backed it up as well.
An inexpensive, championship winner that can outright score the basketball, Terry is as solid a free agent pickup as Danny Ainge could have made.
Job well done, Boston.
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