Celtics

Terry: 'Totally different' from Ray Allen

809252.jpg

Terry: 'Totally different' from Ray Allen

WALTHAM When Ray Allen decided to join the Miami Heat, Jason Terry knew the comparisons between him and Allen would be made - a lot.

Both have been among the NBA's better 3-point shooters for years. Both have played integral roles in helping a team (Allen in Boston, Terry in Dallas) win an NBA title.

But as Terry pointed out during the Boston Celtics' Media day on Friday, similarities between the two are fewer and farther between than most would believe.

"We're two different players," Terry said. "Hopefully I'll bring something that Ray didn't, and some of the things that he did. Ray obviously was a great player for this franchise for years, brought them a championship in '08 but our games are totally different."

Although both rank among the NBA's all-time leaders in 3-pointers made (Allen is No. 1 while Terry ranks No. 4), Terry looks to score off the dribble more in addition to being able to play some point guard while Allen is a pure shooting guard with so-so ball-handling skills.

If you look at their most recent shooting numbers more closely, it's clear that Allen relied more on his 3-point shooting prowess than Terry. During the 2011-2012 season, 47.5 percent of the shots taken by Allen were 3-pointers compared to Terry whose 3-point shooting constituted 44 percent of the shots he took for Dallas last season.

And then there's the size difference, something Terry has no choice but to concede.

"He's 6-5 or whatever, I'm 6-2," Terry said. "But I am the Jet and I like to fly. We'll see what happens. A lot of those comparisons will be thrown out there. But we're two totally different players."

And two totally different mindsets towards their roles with the Celtics.

After spending his first four-plus seasons in Boston as a starter, C's coach Doc Rivers decided to have Allen come off the bench and instead start Avery Bradley who provided a better defensive presence with the first group.

Being a backup was a role that Allen did not embrace wholeheartedly at first, and never fully adjusted to the idea or embrace the change.

Meanwhile, Terry has spent the bulk of his career as a reserve and he loves it.

"I'll be thrust into the sixth man role and hey, I'm one of the best," said Terry who was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 2009. "It is what it is. I take pride in that. It's something that every team needs; that energy, that spark off the bench. That's what I'm here to do."

The year that Terry won the award, he averaged 19.6 points per game. Only three players in NBA history have won the award with a higher scoring average. Among them was former Celtic Kevin McHale who averaged 19.8 points in 1985.

A career 16.1 points per game scorer, Terry doesn't take for granted how important his role will be to the Celtics this season.

"I don't want to let these guys down," Terry said. "KG has already talked to me about what it means for him to win another championship. Rondo tells me everyday what it means to win another one. And Paul Pierce, he's looking great. They know. They're champions. Now as me as a veteran player, it's to help these young guys, guys we'll need off the bench, be a leader for them and help them understand what it's going to mean to win a championship."

And as he has done since arriving in Boston, Terry reiterates that his focus remains squarely on winning another championship.

"When you join a team and a franchise like this one here in Boston, there is no other goal," Terry said. "The goal is to win a championship, and I believe we have the talent, we have the coaching staff, we have the fans to get the job done. We believe it. We believe it to a man, that we will win (a championship)."

Celtics thought it would be good . . . but this good?

celtics_mavs_horford_ferrell.jpg

Celtics thought it would be good . . . but this good?

After arriving in Boston and spending some time with his new teammates, Kyrie Irving felt good about this group doing big things this season. 

But when asked about the experience thus far being what he thought it would be, Irving responded, “It’s probably exceeded that.”

He’s not alone. 

Few would have envisioned the Celtics (15-2) would have the best record in the NBA at this point, let alone be riding a 15-game winning streak which ranks as the fifth-best winning streak in franchise history. 

Irving and his Celtics teammates will try and keep it going tonight when they take on the Dallas Mavericks.

Irving’s ability to mesh with his teammates and still find success was among the many questions out there when the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off the blockbuster trade this offseason. 

Blending in has not been an issue for Irving, bolstered by the reality that his game stands out. 

We saw that in Boston’s 110-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks, which was a game in which Irving had 30 points on an insanely efficient 10-for-12 shooting night. 

There were many factors that went into Irving’s strong night against the Hawks, but he said it really came down to one thing above all else.

“I just made some damn shots for once,” Irving quipped. “That right there kind of made it seem better than I actually been shooting over the start of the season.  It would also contribute to being able to be in the right spots and guys being selfless in their approach driving to the basket or getting into the paint. It’s tell-tale sign of all of us getting more comfortable.”

Here are five below-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on as the Boston Celtics face the Dallas Mavericks, with Boston gunning for its 16th straight win. 

BROWN’S POSITIVE PLAY

Jaylen Brown has been on a bit of an offensive tear of late, the last being a career-high 27-point performance in Boston’s win over Atlanta. But even more telling is how well things seem to flow with him on the floor. Brown’s plus/minus this season is +146 which is tops among all players in the Eastern Conference. His closest competition in the East? That would teammate Al Horford whose plus/minus this season is +143. In addition, Horford has had a positive plus/minus in every game this season. 

YOGI FERRELL

You can count Yogi Ferrell among the ones that got away from Brad Stevens when he was coaching at Butler. Ferrell, who played at Indiana, was a player on Stevens’ radar when he was coaching at Butler. “I recruited Yogi, unsuccessfully,” Stevens told reporters in Dallas. While Ferrell came on strong as an undrafted free agent with the Mavericks last season, Stevens said there’s nothing about Ferrell’s game now that he didn’t see when he tried to woo him to Butler. “He would have been awfully good at Butler,” Stevens said.

HOMECOMING

While Marcus Smart grew up in Flower Mound, Texas (less than an hour from Dallas), tonight’s game is a homecoming of sorts for another Celtics player – Semi Ojeleye. The 6-foot-7 forward played at SMU which is located in Dallas. A second-round pick by Boston in last June’s NBA draft, Ojeleye has been among the many surprise performers for the Celtics this season. “We knew he could be a versatile defender,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Probably has exceeded our expectations in that regard with his ability to guard one (point guard) through five (center) at certain times. And he’s been pretty consistent shooting the ball. Right now, embracing that kind of 3-and-D role is what he has to do and he’s done it well.”

DEEP DRAFT CLASS

The Boston Celtics struck gold by drafting Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick. But as you look at the teams that had lottery picks in last June’s NBA draft, few come away feeling disappointed or discouraged by the player selected. The Dallas Mavericks are among the teams pleased with their first-round pick, Dennis Smith Jr. who was selected with the ninth overall pick. He has emerged as one of the top rookies this year, averaging 14.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. And yes, he was a player that was on the Celtics’ radar leading up to last June’s draft. “We had Dennis in and he was really impressive,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He’s a guy that’s going to have a great career and he’s got good veteran players around him to help kick it off.”

DIRK NOWITZKI

The numbers aren’t anywhere close to what we’ve seen for the bulk of Dirk Nowitzki’s illustrious career that’s now in Year 20. But there is a demeanor about him that seems to be at peace with where he’s at basketball-wise, even if the wins aren’t nearly as plentiful as he’s accustomed to. “I appreciate his game a ton,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Just watching him talk on the court, cheer on the bench, sit at the scorer’s table with a smile on his face. You can’t play this long and be this good this long if you don’t’ love it. Everybody says they love it, but he’s got a different level of passion. You can feel it, you can see it. You root for guys like him to have success.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

stream-celtics-mavs.jpg

WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Mavericks in Dallas. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's need to play Smart in Dallas

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE