|Jason Terry de-ices the ‘Jet’ and makes a golf analogy||11.07.12 at 11:47 pm ET|
Jason Terry may still be getting comfortable with his new team, but the Celtics guard looked like his old self in contributing 16 points off the bench in Boston’s 100-94 win.
Terry, who signed with the C’s in the offseason to anchor Boston’s bench, had his best game as a Celtic Wednesday, a night that was highlighted by him doing his signature “Jet” celebration after sinking a three-pointer in the fourth-quarter to give the C’s an 80-76 lead.
“We finally de-iced the Jet,” C’s rookie Jared Sullinger said after the win. “He’s back.”
“They’ve been begging for it, and I was finally able to give it to them tonight,” Terry said with a grin. “The ‘Jet’ just don’t come out for nothing. [If] we’re losing, you won’t see no runway, none of that. We needed a spark, we needed some energy and the fans responded well to us.”
Both Terry’s minutes (32) and points (16) were season-highs for the 35-year-old. Though teammates praised his performance, Terry wasn’t thrilled with making just two of his five attempted threes.
“For me it’s about making shots,” Terry said. “If this was golf, I thought I left a couple birdies out there from deep tonight, but it will come. I said this is a process, and for us it’s about playing 48 minutes of Celtics basketball. Tonight we played in spurts, we played in stretches. That’s not going to be good enough for us, so we’ll be back at practice tomorrow and working hard and building for the next game.”
Terry said he felt he was being more aggressive Wednesday than in the first three games, knowing that he was signed to shoot rather than pass. While that explains the points, Doc Rivers explained the minutes by pointing to a rarely praised part of Terry’s game.
“You know what’s funny? We left Jason in because he was playing great defense,” Rivers said. “That may be the first [time] in his career that’s ever been said about Jason Terry, but he was terrific. I thought the ball pressure [was strong], and he did a lot of good things defensively.”
Terry could appreciate how uncommon it is for him to be left in for his defense rather than his shooting.
“No question, but on this team, that’s what it’s about,” Terry said. “That’s what we hang our hat on, on the defensive end of the court. You could see when the game was on the line and we needed to get stops, we turned it up to another level. For us, the process is can we get to that level for longer stretches of time? We know we can do it now when it’s time to get the win, but can we do it in the first, second and third quarter? That’s going to be the test for us, but we will get there.”
Prior to the season, Terry had declared that the Celtics had the best bench in the league. The first three games of the season told a much different story, with the C’s reserves being outscored, 131-87, by opponents. Washington’s bench once again outscored that of the C’s on Wednesday (53-41), but Boston’s bench came up big down the stretch with big minutes from Terry, Brandon Bass (11 points, seven rebounds in 33 minutes) and, to a lesser extent, Chris Wilcox (four big minutes in the second half that saw the power forward score six points with a pair of rebounds and a block), among others.
“This was a good performance for the bench, I thought for the most part,” Terry said. “We stuck to our defensive assignments and offensively we were aggressive. Myself, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass. That’s what we need. We need that every night from us, and now we have to start to get it more consistently.”
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