Jason Terry seems to have already assimilated with the Boston Celtics and its fanbase, even before holding an official practice.
On August 13th, Terry tweeted a picture of himself sporting a new tattoo on his arm—the Celtics mascot holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Now that’s commitment. Not bad for a guy who spent the last eight years of his career with a different franchise.
While his arrival has energized Celtic fans—especially those still dealing with the departure of Ray Allen—it is important to have realistic expectations.
Terry is coming off a fantastic year in which he averaged 15.1 points per game, and shot 38 percent from beyond the arc (his best since 2006-2007). Despite those fantastic numbers it is hard to imagine that he can continue this upward trend as he enters the twilight years of his career.
Although Terry averaged over 30 minutes per game with the Mavericks in 2011-12, he may sacrifice minutes with the Celtics as Boston already has a deep backcourt, sporting five guards on the preliminary roster.
Then there is the issue of him acclimating to a new system.
After spending the last four years playing for the offensive-minded Rick Carlisle, Terry will now be playing for a defensive guru in Doc Rivers. What makes things slightly more difficult for the 34-year-old veteran is that he is virtually a one-dimensional player—he is an average defender who is known more as a pure perimeter shooter.
While that certainly carries value, it may not be enough to make a significant impact.
In Dallas he and Dirk Nowitzki served as the team’s 1-2 punch for eight seasons, with Terry finishing second in team scoring six times. However in Boston he will be playing alongside a trio of superstars, which include Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. This could have a positive effect since it will likely alleviate some of his pressure to perform, but his numbers will drop drastically.
I am not implying that Jason Terry will not arrive as advertised. I am suggesting that we must simply assess the situation and tailor our expectations accordingly. In Dallas Jason Terry was the "number 2" or sidekick, if you prefer. Now he is a role player.
There has been speculation that he could begin the season in the starting lineup (until Avery Bradley returns). However, what we can truly expect is that Terry will strengthen the Boston bench - hopefully pick up right where Ray Allen left off.
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