Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
Jason Terry and the Mavericks couldn't find the right chemistry last season.Jason Terry, he of unwavering optimism about the Celtics' potential this season, provided a cautionary tale on Tuesday afternoon, admitting that things don't always click for a team, regardless of overall potential.
The outspoken Terry has pinned Boston's early season bench inconsistencies on himself and promised better performance from the second unit moving forward. But while adamant things will click for this group, he recalled how that never happened for an overhauled Mavericks squad with high expectations last season.
"We had a lot of turnover in Dallas, where we'd bring in new guys every year it seemed like," explained Terry. Later he added, "For us, it never jelled. It never happened. And that's why we were out in the first round [of the playoffs]. So, it can happen or it won't. But I believe with this [Celtics] team it will. There's no timetable set [to find consistency]. Just as long as we're ready when it counts."
The 2011-12 Mavericks, coming off a championship season, lost Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Caron Butler (Clippers), Jose Juan Barea (Timberwolves) and DeShawn Stevenson (Nets) in free agency, but countered by adding veterans Vince Carter, Delonte West and Lamar Odom.
Dallas stumbled to a 36-30 mark during the lockout-shortened season, finishing third in the Southwest Division and seventh in the Western Conference. The Mavericks were swept from the first round of the postseason by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 35-year-old Terry signed a three-year deal with Boston this offseason and, despite a revamped and restocked bench, there have been growing pains during a 1-2 start to the season.
"This is nothing new. But for me it's definitely an adjustment and I know, for the guys that have been here, it's an adjustment for them, because they're used to playing one way, and now you're implementing guys that are used to playing another," said Terry. "So it's difficult. Sometimes you run into each other, you get in each other's way, but it's something that's going to work itself out and, again, I'll go back to it again, it's repetition. The more reps we get with each other in practice and in game situations, the better we're going to be as a team."
Terry said the reserve unit arrived early to practice again Tuesday to spend extra time together on the floor.
"The quicker we can get together the better rhythm we're going to be in as a team," said Terry. "As much as we're leaning on [a veteran core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo], they're leaning on us to pick up this system and kind of learn. We've been coming early, 15 minutes, the guys that are new and running through our plays and getting down the terminology, and we've also been staying late, so hopefully that'll pay off."