Ray Allen Signs with Miami Heat, Boston Celtics Are Better off with Jason Terry

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2012

With the Associated Press breaking news this evening (via ESPN) that Ray Allen has decided to sign with the Miami Heat, many Boston Celtics fans will feel angry, betrayed or perhaps just sad to see one-third of the "Big Three" that won a title in 2008 head to one of the most-hated teams in the history of professional sports.

But Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics were proactive in dealing with this.

In a move that seemed almost to anticipate the loss of Allen, Boston signed former Sixth Man of the Year and 2011 champion Jason Terry to alleviate the pain of losing the league's all-time leader in three-point field goals.

Allen signing with Miami certainly isn't a good thing for Boston, but it doesn't make them that much worse than they were this past season. In fact, at this point in their careers, Terry is an upgrade over Allen.

He's younger (only by two years, but younger is younger), faster and a better defender. He's also more versatile than Allen in terms of his ability to play minutes at point guard and defend multiple positions. (He locked down 6'8" LeBron James during stretches of the 2011 Finals.)

Ray Allen's primary role in Boston involved coming off screens and knocking down threes. Not many people in the history of the game can compare with Allen in that role, but it's one in which Terry should be able to excel next year.

For their careers, Terry's three-point percentage is just barely below Allen's (38 percent compared to 40). And that's with Terry taking more difficult shots. Most of his threes came off the dribble, and while some people are better that way, catch-and-shoot buckets are typically easier and yield a higher percentage.

Terry will get a lot more open looks in Boston's system playing alongside one of the game's best playmakers in Rajon Rondo. And if he isn't wide open when he catches the ball, Terry handles it better than Allen and is more effective in creating his own shot.

I'm sure Boston would have loved to have both Allen and Terry, but the team shouldn't be too worried because they already have a better player on the roster at that position in "The Jet."

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