Doc: Terry's start was to take pressure off Bradley

Doc: Terry's start was to take pressure off Bradley
April 27, 2013, 1:15 am
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BOSTON —- With the way the Celtics-Knicks game played out Friday night, chances are you couldn't care less how it started.

In fact, you probably don't want to relive a second of it, if you're a Celtics fan anyways.

But the very first surprise of the game actually came before the Knicks walked all over the Celtics, when it was discovered just prior to tipoff that Jason Terry would get the start, and Brandon Bass would come off the bench.

This was interesting for a number of reasons.

First, Doc Rivers had been using his "big" lineup featuring Jeff Green for the first two games, with obviously poor results. Second, aside from a spot start on Mar. 23 with Courtney Lee out with a sprained ankle, Terry hadn't started since Jan. 7, against the New York Knicks - the only game Boston won vs. them.

Terry shot just 1-for-7 with 4 rebounds and 5 assists that game, but a win is a win.

Unfortunately for Boston, the results wouldn't be the same this time. The C's didn't compete with the Knicks for the majority of the game, losing 90-76.

Terry did perform better - 14 points on 4-for-9 shooting - but Rivers hadn't inserted him into the lineup to spark his offense. He did it to free up Avery Bradley, who has been thrusted in the point guard role - a position that isn't quite suited for him.

How did that fare? Well, not great. While Terry took some of the point guard duties, Bradley finished just 1-for-4 from the field for two points, one rebound, and one steal. And neither Terry or Bradley were very effective guarding Knicks guards Raymond Felton (15 points, 10 assists), Pablo Prigioni (9 points), or J.R. Smith (15 points). Each of those three guards shot .500 from the field.

"The reason I did it: It was just to alleviate some pressure from Avery [Bradley]," Rivers said after the game. "I just think all the ball-handling that he’s doing – it’s just too much, honestly.  And so our thinking was, they start with the two small guards so we can match up. It’s a good match-up for us. I actually liked it because we got shots that you wanted; we just couldn’t make anything. And so at the end of the day, it didn’t work, but I still liked it. I haven’t watched it yet, so I’ll watch it tonight. That’ll be fun.”