I was overcome with excitement when the Boston Celtics announced they had signed Jason Terry this past offseason. I knew exactly what type of player we were getting. That was a guy that would make huge shots for us in clutch situations, a locker room leader, and yes, sometimes a frustrating player due to his streaking shooting and subpar passing. I was okay with the negatives because what Terry brought in the clutch was unparalleled.
One problem... Jason Terry has been anything but clutch. I have been dead wrong about the attribute that I valued most in him.
This season I've had a lot of discussions with people who believed that Jason Terry was a bust from the start. I'd respond every single time with, "We got him for what he can bring to the table during the playoffs, just wait and see!"
Except the last time I gave that response to someone I had an unsettling feeling in my stomach...I didn't believe what I had just said—I was lying to myself. I thought, "Am I not facing reality? Maybe he's just not as clutch as I remember him being with the Dallas Mavericks."
So, in a panic, I checked out the statistics from the start of his career with the Mavericks to this year with the Celtics:
It turns out that I was most definitely correct about his time with the Mavs, I didn't misremember anything. From 2004 to 2011 he was terrific, with the 07/08 season being the only blip on the radar. Other than that, he was just like I had remembered him, including his incredible numbers in Dallas' 2010-2011 championship season.
But how about this season with Boston? Well...so far he has a 34.8 field goal percentage and a 23.3 three-point percentage in clutch situations.
That's just flat out terrible.
Or perhaps, "Terryble" is the right word to use.
Time and time again this season Jason Terry has had opportunities to make momentum changing shots and game-tying or game winning shots too. Yet, one time after another he has come up short. Sure, he's had a three or four big games, like his 26 point performance against the Denver Nuggets. The Celtics won the game in triple-overtime in large part due to Terry's efforts.
But those games are few and far between for "JET" and he seems to be more talk than he is bite. Numerous times this season he has promised big games yet has never fulfilled those standards he has set for himself. Aren't you tired of his string of broken promises?
In late March, CSNNE.com's Rich Levine quoted Terry, who said, "If anyone asks a question about Jason Terry, just tell them I'm getting ready for the playoffs. That's why they brought me here."
Going into Friday's game against the Miami Heat, I figured that would be a night when Jason Terry would start "getting ready for the playoffs." With both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out, this would've been the perfect game for him to put the team on his back and prove that he can carry the load when he has to.
He didn't. He shot 3-of-9 from the field and missed shots when Miami was either extending the lead or when Boston was in the process of getting the game close. The JET failed to takeoff once again.
After his disappointing game against the Heat, Jason Terry went ahead and called Boston's next opponent, the Orlando Magic, a terrible team.
Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com
"I don't want to give them any fuel, but they're terrible. We must go in there and whoever we have, scrap for the win. In the playoffs, you have to win on the road. Tomorrow night we'll be looking to see what we can do."
I love trash talk, don't get me wrong. But this is the most direct statement that he has made this season towards another team. Saying this, you would expect him to go out and score 20 points against the Orlando Magic.
Guess what? He didn't even play! Is there anything more representative of Jason Terry's season than last night's game against Orlando?
Jason goes and calls out an opponent, yet Doc Rivers sits him for rest, not giving him the opportunity to back up his words. In a way, I feel like Doc saved him the embarrassment that would've occurred had he went out and had another lackluster game.
Regardless, with the Boston Celtics' playoff run starting next weekend against the New York Knicks, Jason Terry will finally get the chance to prove himself. After an entire season of hopes and expectations that haven't been achieved, the JET will have the opportunity to take flight when it matters most.
He will have the chance to prove to me and other Celtics fans why Danny Ainge signed him in the first place. But most importantly, Jason Terry will get the opportunity to fulfill the championship prediction he made with the tattoo he got after signing with the Celtics. Terry will get the chance to bring Banner 18 to Boston and make fans forget about his regular season performance. If the JET soars in the playoffs, all will be forgotten.