Austin Rivers has talent. He also has opinions.
As the off-season winds down, it can safely be said said that Doc Rivers’ kid is pretty well-spoken. He’s given some smooth interviews, showing a natural approach. He hasn’t shied away too much. On an interview before the draft, on the Dan Patrick show, he stated pretty clearly (and correctly) thathe’d be a top 10 pick.
He also has some thoughts on the Celtics:
“As funny as it sounds, I actually think both teams benefited (from Ray Allen signing with the Heat,” Austin Rivers said. “I think the Heat got a lot better obviously, because now the floor is spaced with Ray Allen.
What, now?? How exactly did Boston benefit from losing their best shooter and a sure-fire hall-of-famer? Is this kid serious? I swear…you know he calls himself subzero? This jerk is so…
“And I think the Celtics got better, because…now you have a better defender in Courtney Lee, who is a great on-the-ball defender…And then you have Jason Terry, who is instant offense, something the Celtics need when you have older players like KG and Paul Pierce that get hurt.
Well. That was pretty well explained. It turns out that not only is Rivers well-spoken, but he’s also probably right.
Statistically speaking, Allen has the advantage on Terry. Allen sports percentages of 45.8 from the field, 45.3 from three, and 91.5 from the free throw line. Terry has figures of 43.1, 37.8, and 88.3. The differences in percentages between the two aren’t drastic enough for Terry to be considered a downgrade.
But, c’mon, man. All those three’s! It’s Jesus Shuttlesworth for goodness’ sake!
Jason Terry starts to look more and more favorable when you compare styles of play. Though sporting the lower averages, Terry is the more versatile player at this point. He combines great spot-up shooting with his play-making ability to make himself a solid option on offense. To add on, Terry is pretty dead-eye from mid range, shooting 43% from 16-23 ft out (compared to Allen’s 36%). Those numbers, like the averages that Ray Allen has, aren’t drastic enough in comparison for Terry to be considered a monumental upgrade either.
It’s the previous point, the play-making dimension of both players, that makes Terry stand out. The Mavericks owe a huge amount of their success to Terry’s ability to create his own shot. Yes, his spot-up ability makes a defender pick his poison when going up against Terry. But, both Allen and Terry have that trait in their respective games.
Terry’s just the one who’s more dangerous in the perimeter, showing to be an offensive threat from multiple ranges. Notice his versatility against the Heat in 2011’s Finals:
Because of his knockdown shooting, guys have to come out and guard Terry. This gives him the chance to get his first step and make something happen from the mid range or at the rim. Ray Allen gets the same treatment from defenders (he’s just open a lot because he’s great moving without the ball, through a labyrinth of screens):
This was one of Allen’s better performances (though he always seemed like he was about to go off for 30). You can see, as mentioned previously, he’s a knock-down shooter. But, as made evident at the 3:06 mark of the above video, he doesn’t have the legs to beat guys off the dribble anymore. He instead has to opt to be most effective from catch-and-shoot opportunities. Even if Ray does get the first step on a defender or makes space (3:22), he often ends up taking a pretty difficult shot.
And there’s the addition of Courtney Lee.
Lee’s offensive ability was hidden last year by lack of specific play-calling. Lee averaged 10 shots per game last year. Only 2 of those shots were at the rim. The fact that Lee averaged 3 shots from three out of his total 10 from the field is all good and well (he averaged 60% on them, after all). But with his cutting ability and strength at the rim, Doc will most likely use him as a wing option for Rondo. This way, there are more options on offense and Lee can take advantage of his finishing ability.
Lee’s defensive value is what makes him a great pick-up. Though the C’s traded some good prospects in Ja’Juan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, Lee is exactly the kind of defensive spark that Doc is looking for:
Austin Rivers might be right here.
Boston might be looking at another season where we all think they’re just “too old”, and before we know it, they might even be playing another game 7 against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the season kicking off on October 30th, it wont take long for us to see what the Celtics are planning with their additions this season.
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also a contributor at “Les Snobs”. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim