Boston Celtics Need Better Play from Shooting Guards for Sustained Success

Nick FarnsworthAnalyst INovember 6, 2012

Jason Terry and Courtney Lee have yet to prove they can contribute in a big way
Jason Terry and Courtney Lee have yet to prove they can contribute in a big wayJared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are off to a 1-2 start without the help of their defensive specialist and starting shooting guard Avery Bradley. The Celtics have not looked great in their first two games, especially at the shooting guard position currently being filled by Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Both players have greatly underperformed these first three games and neither has shown any real consistency.

Courtney Lee was pegged as the starting shooting guard after being acquired from the Houston Rockets in the offseason; however, he has yet to show that he can fill the void left by Bradley's injury. Lee has averaged only 7.3 points per game on a solid 50 percent shooting. He has also only hit on 25 percent of three-point shots while only adding one assist and 1.7 rebounds per game. 

He did play fairly well in the game against the Miami Heat offensively. Nevertheless, he has yet to have a great defensive game, which is a far cry from the suffocating style of play that Avery Bradley provided the team in the second half of last season. In addition, Lee has only posted a 7.55 player efficiency rating, which is well under the 15.0 average set at the beginning of the year and equates to a player that is likely to be buried on the bench. 

Former Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry has not fared much better, failing to provide any real spark off the bench. He has only averaged 8.7 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting along with 28.6 percent from behind the three-point line. The Celtics were hoping Terry could back up Rondo at the point guard position, but he has only averaged two assists while turning the ball over 2.3 times per game. 

Terry has played fairly well on defense through three games, but he was supposed to be the man that would help replace the performance of Ray Allen. Through four games, Allen has provided the Miami Heat with 15.7 points per game on 62.5 percent shooting along with shooting 56.3 percent on three-pointers, while providing the team with three rebounds, two assists and only one turnover a game. 

Although Allen decided to leave on his own, Terry and Lee are going to have to show great amounts of improvement in the few months leading up to the return of Avery Bradley to make the Celtics secure at shooting guard. During the preseason there was much debate about whether Bradley would be able to reclaim the starting spot from Lee once he returned, but at the level he is currently playing Doc will be begging to have Bradley back. 

Now the season is young and both guards have only been with the team for three regular-season games, but there is no doubt that the performance at the shooting guard position is severely lacking right now. Hopefully Terry and Lee will be able to figure out their roles with the Celtics soon and begin to play like the talented players Boston fans expected to see. The success of the team in the long run may end up relying on the production that these two players will provide off the bench, and they have yet to show that they are up to the challenge.