Jet grounded in C's opener
October, 31, 2012
By Greg Payne | ESPNBoston.com
Jason Terry knows Tuesday night could have gone better.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesJason Terry didn't quite get off the runway in Tuesday's opener.
The Jet's first flight in a Boston uniform wasn't without its fair share of turbulence in the Celtics' 120-107 season-opening loss to the Miami Heat, as he managed just eight points on 2-of-7 shooting (0-for-3 from the 3-point line), to go with three turnovers, three personal fouls, and only one assist.
One would think those were the numbers eating at Terry afterward, but he brushed aside his offensive woes, and, in tune with the Celtics' team philosophy, pointed to the production of Miami's own guard core as his greatest frustration. Dwyane Wade poured in 29 points, Mario Chalmers added eight points and 11 assists, and Ray Allen posted 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
"Oh, it was a bad performance for me," said Terry. "Just defensively, not being able to be assertive and getting my hands on a lot more balls. So, I'm always looking to make an impact on both ends of the floor, but defensively tonight, I didn't have my best game."
Terry wasn't shy in his proclamations throughout the summer and training camp that Boston's bench would be a force this season, but, apart from a 16-point outburst from Leandro Barbosa, it was a decidedly anemic performance from the Celtics' reserves. Terry himself went scoreless in the second half, unable to help Boston overcome what grew to be a 19-point deficit.
Whether it was him rushing off of the opening night adrenaline, or simply needing to execute sets a bit cleaner, Terry never seemed to be able to obtain quality looks at the basket. He looked like he was hoisting his 3-pointers as opposed to shooting them, rarely getting an open look with the proper time to set his feet and take aim. And though it was frustrating for everyone on Boston's side to not see Terry impact the final 24 minutes, including the last stretch of the third quarter when the Heat went without both LeBron James and Wade, they know Terry's one guy they needn't worry about moving forward.
"Not a great game, but he's got 81 more," head coach Doc Rivers said of Terry afterward. "He'll make up for it."
Had Terry been able to replicate his second-quarter performance at any point during the second half, Rivers would have sung his new guard's praises. Terry scored all eight of his points in the second frame, which could be considered more of a preview -- or perhaps a tease in this case -- of what Terry will do this season. He made two of his three shots and all four of his free throws, serving as a factor both in the halfcourt and on the break.
With just under nine minutes to play in the quarter he swerved through Miami's defense on the right side and put in a tough layup while drawing a foul, and, a few plays earlier, after being cut off on the left side, he calmly stepped back and sank a jump shot. True to what he said during the offseason, Terry wasn't utilized in the same way Allen used to be. Rather than having him weave around a host of screens, the Celtics were far more comfortable with the ball in Terry's hands early in possessions, relying on him to create his own offense.
Terry knows his confident demeanor has to be backed up by steady play on the court, and even though that didn't ring true for the majority of Tuesday's game, it's that same confidence that will help him rebound and prepare for Friday night's home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.