The addition of former Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry helps mitigate the loss of Ray Allen for the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics should remain among the top teams in the Eastern Conference in 2012-’13 even without Ray Allen. Kevin Garnett’s decision to return to the Celtics, just before he was set to become one of the biggest free agents on the market, takes the sting out of the Celtics losing Allen.
The Celtics added guard Jason Terry with a three-year contract at the mid-level exception ($5 million). Jeff Green will return to the Celtics with a reported four-year, $36 million deal. Free agents cannot sign until the moratorium period ends on July 11th so the details are not fully known.
While the loss of Allen hurts because of how much he has meant over the past five seasons with his outside shooting, the Celtics should be relieved that Terry chose to come to Boston. Terry gives the Celtics an option in the backcourt. The 34-year-old guard can play the point and he can create his own shot. He can shoot from anywhere on the court as he was a 38% shooter from beyond the 3-point line in 2011-’12. Also, Terry can work the pick-and-roll game and he is a better at moving the ball than Allen. Terry is not a great defender, but he is a savvy veteran who was able to help the Dallas Mavericks win a championship in 2011 with their changing schemes from man-to-man and zone defense.
The Boston Celtics could be without Kevin Garnett (left), Paul Pierce (center), and Ray Allen (right) next season.
All great things come to an end.
The Big Three revival ended on Saturday night when the Boston Celtics were ousted by LeBron James and the Miami Heat, 101-88, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Now, the uncertainty of the offseason arrives.
Saturday night’s game was reminiscent of the last five years with the Celtics having the opportunity to win multiple championships, but they missed chances and suffered debilitating injuries. In the 2009 postseason, they lost Kevin Garnett to a season-ending knee injury in February. Ultimately, the team fell to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals. They fought all the way to Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers where they played without center Kendrick Perkins, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of that series. In an ending eerily similar to the 2010 Finals, the Celtics could not hang with the Heat in the final six minutes of the game on Saturday. Like in 2010, the Celtics head into the offseason with the possibility of the Big Three breaking up with Ray Allen and Garnett as free agents. Paul Pierce has two years left on his contract, but only one season is fully guaranteed. The Celtics could either trade Pierce, amnesty him, or keep him while they rebuild.
There is still a chance that the Celtics could bring the core of the last five years back together for a final run for 2012-’13. After last night’s press conferences from an emotional Doc Rivers and teary-eyed Allen, it appears that the team has long-term goals in mind to build the team around point guard Rajon Rondo.
If this is indeed the end of Garnett and Allen’s careers in Boston, they proved they are champions with the sacrifice they (along with Pierce) made to conquer their goal of winning a championship in the 2007-’08 season. They all had been the lone superstars in Seattle, Minnesota, and Boston. These three carried the Celtics to three Eastern Conference finals appearances.
Pierce reacts after hitting draining his huge three pointer.
“Paul Pierce just absolutely destroyed LeBron James with that 3 point basket” – Every Boston fan in the world that was watching Game 5. Okay, so maybe that quote wasn’t taken directly from anyone other than myself; however, it was definitely what most Celtics fans were thinking when Pierce pulled up and drained a deep three pointer in the MVP James’ face. The entire game the Captain was struggling with his shot, finishing 6-19, but his confidence never wavered. Leaving Boston fans constantly wanting more the entire game, and even inspiring ESPN’s Doris Burke to ask coach Doc Rivers about his scoring at halftime, Pierce was on spot on when it mattered most. Doc was quoted as saying that the Celtics, ‘wouldn’t win the game if we don’t get Paul going;’ well, Paul wasn’t going but he owned crunch time and that proved to be just good enough.
In what has been a “heart of a champion” postseason, the Celtics continue to show resolve at the most important times. When the Heat took a seven-point lead in the second half, the Celtics responded with key bench players making an impact (I am a personal believer that Mickael Pietrus played his best game in a Celtics uniform- 13 points, 2 huge threes) and managed to finish off the third quarter with a 5-point lead. The final period was neck and neck from there with Miami finishing with just a 1-point advantage in the final period (30-29).
Simply, this Boston squad refuses to quit. Even though the “Big 3” is now more of a catch phrase, and this is Rondo’s team, they are still playing like they have so much left to give. Key role players did their job, Rondo played strong despite his poor shooting, and Boston played like a champion. By no means are they assured of anything; however, they can be certain that if they can go home to the TD Garden and take care of business in Game 6, then they will have a shot at playing for Banner 18.
The Rajon Rondo show was in full effect Sunday night
For one half of basketball, the Boston Celtics forgot how old they were.
They couldn’t remember that Ray Allen had bone spurs in his ankle, that Paul Pierce had a partial MCL tear in his knee, that Boston had an insignificant bench that had been outscored 63-40 in the first three games of the series.
Then the second half came around, the Celtics got old again and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade brought the Heat back from the dead only for Boston to travel back in time for one more five-minute span.
Wade missed a three as the buzzer sounded and the Celtics left the TD Garden in Boston all tied up as they prepare to travel back to South Beach for Game 5 Tuesday.
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Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen's outside shooting has allowed him to drive by defenders like Mike Miller of the Miami Heat.
Ray Allen looked old, hurt, and painful to watch throughout the series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Everybody, including the Boston Celtics coaches, did not know what they would get out of Allen coming into the series against the Miami Heat.
Allen has been battling bone spurs in his right ankle since March. He missed 15 of the last 19 games in the regular season and then he was unable to land on the court in the Celtics first two postseason contests against the Atlanta Hawks. Allen came back in Game 3 against the Hawks and he has played in the past 14 postseason games.
In the series against the Sixers, Allen was even being left open for shots beyond the arc. He shot 38% from the field and 27% on three-pointers. Allen has gone through shooting slumps before, but this was different because Allen is 37 years old and he is in the last year of his contract. He is fighting age, pain, and time.
Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce cannot be dominated by the Miami Heat's LeBron James like he was in Game 1.
“No playoff series truly begins until the road team wins a game.” This is an old saying made famous by Pat Riley in 1987 when he was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.
For the Boston Celtics to win in Miami on Wednesday night, they will have to improve in several categories for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final showdown with the Heat.
One area is at the free throw line. The Celtics are going to have nights where they do not shoot well from the floor because they are a jump-shooting team. There is no reason the Celtics should make just one more free throw than they miss. The Celtics were 11-of-21 from the charity stripe and Ray Allen was a miserable 3-of-7. Allen does not appear to have any balance in his stroke even from the line.
Another area where the Celtics have to improve is on defense. The Celtics let LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have their way with them. The Heat had too many easy paths to the basket whether they were layups or short jumpers. Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers all had their share of good looks at the basket. The Heat shot an absurd 21-of-27 inside the paint and they blocked 11 Celtics shots. The Celtics must keep James and Wade on the outside. They need to force the Heat to beat them from the perimeter. The Celtics were getting killed on the pick-and-roll and they were not rotating, especially inside the paint. This allowed the Heat to score untouched on the inside.