I don't think Danny Ainge intended for Jason Terry to be a backup plan. He wanted both Ray Allen and Jason Terry on the same team. Of course it didn't work out that way, but as it turns out, things ended up working out pretty well anyway once Courtney Lee was signed and traded for.
So now we can assume that Jason Terry slips right into the role that Ray Allen was in at the end of last year. The bonus is that Terry actually likes coming off the bench and in fact thrives in that role. A second bonus is that even though Terry will be 35, that still makes him 2 years younger than Ray Allen at the beginning of next season.
But is it as easy as slotting one guy in for another? Well, yes and no. He will be our stretch the floor shooter on the second unit, but not all shooters are made the same. Check out the link below for a detailed analysis and comparison of the two guards (including some eye opening and colorful charts). Here's a brief look.
Anyway, on to the analytics. Let’s start with where they shoot. I mentioned earlier that these guys have similar offensive styles; when we look at their shooting clusters this idea is confirmed. Both guys love to shoot from beyond the arc, especially in the corners and along the wings. Both players exhibit fairly symmetric 3-point shooting tendencies, with one big difference: Terry shoots more than Ray these days. Jason Terry averaged about 14 field goal attempts per game, Ray averaged a career-low 11 in 2011-2012. Ray’s favorite shot is the left corner 3, where he is incredible. Jet prefers the wings; over half of his 3-point attempts come from the wing. However, he was the 9th best corner-3 shooter in the NBA last season. Ray was number 1.
Most scouting reports point out that Terry is better off the dribble and creating his own shot than Ray, who was increasingly dependent upon the endless screens and double screens. This is a fundamental change in the Celtics offensive sets.
When Terry is on the court with Rondo, they will have to work out their own rhythm and flow but I can only imagine Rondo is looking forward to that challenge. When Terry has mostly the second unit around him, I can see him taking more initiative than Ray did. He won't hit every shot, but you want him taking shots instead of someone like Dooling or Jason Collins anyway.
Ray Allen took his talents to South Beach, but the Jet has landed in Boston and will be soaring around the Garden for the next few years. Hopefully he can help the team fly right up to the banners.