Celtics crowded backcourt a work in progress

Jared Wickerham

"Too much" depth (is there such a thing?) and lots of talent are a good problems to have.

The names are ones that you know and respect. Jason Terry, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and now Leandro Barbosa. They have all had success in the past and all will be counted on to contribute this year. They all also play essentially the same position (combo guard), so that will take some time to work out.

For his part, Jason Terry is working through a bit of a learning curve, but he's not worried.

Green Street » Irish Coffee: Jason Terry, Courtney Lee still searching for magic potion in Celtics’ backcourt chemistry experiment

“I’m right there,” Terry said. “I’m playing two different positions, so I’m having to learn the plays and figure it out from a point guard perspective and then from an off-the-ball shooting guard perspective. So, I’m a work in progress, but a veteran like myself — it don’t matter. When those lights come on and the popcorn’s popping, I’m going to be ready.”

The nice thing about Terry is that he's going to be the leader of the 2nd team. He's already taken ownership of it.

“We’re still behind on the communication part,” Terry said. “We’re not communicating as well. I’m talking about my group — the second unit — and that’s going to take some time. It’s some new terminology and some things that we’re not used to, coming from new teams, and we’re going to have to make that adjustment. “It’s a long season,” he added. “Hopefully, we’ll get to it. If we’re still having that problem in January, then it will be a problem, but right now we’re just trying to find our way.”

I like that "my group" part. The roster has had a lot of turnover, so the coaching staff has to get a lot of new people acclimated to the system and terminology. It will only get more complex adding in Barbosa. But these are good problems to have and fine for October. The challenge for all involved is to make it work in November and onward through June.

Thankfully Bradley has had years in the system, so when he gets back it will just be learning to play with a few new faces and focusing on what made him so valuable last year. It will be up to Doc to sort out who plays where and for how many minutes. Certainly injuries will take a part in dictating that. But at times Doc might have to experiment with going really small with a 3 guard lineup or something like that.

Initiating the offense when Rondo is sitting will also have to be a group effort since none of these guys is a natural point guard. But they are all used to having the ball in their hands and filling in when necessary. So the running back by committee approach seems like a good enough solution for the 10 or so minutes that Rondo won't be playing as the option quarterback.

Again, it bears repeating. "Too much" depth (is there such a thing?) and lots of talent are a good problems to have.

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