WALTHAM – The Celtics developed the concept of the basketball “sixth man” in the 1960s, so it was probably inevitable that the team would employ some of the game’s best in that role. Now, with former Sixth Men of the Year Leandro Barbosa and Jason Terry on the bench, there might be a call for a “Seventh Man of the Year.”
In any case, Terry has set the tone for the Celtic reserves since arriving as a free agent, and on Thursday, he reiterated the second unit’s goal.
“Adding Barbosa made a deep bench even deeper,” Terry said after practice. “Not only are we deep but we’re very explosive and we are going to look to outscore everyone’s bench this season, every time we step out on the floor.
“We have the deepest bench in basketball. The Clippers might have something to say about that, but it’s us in this locker room. Our mission every night is to go out and outwork and outscore every other bench.”
Last season, Brandon Bass led the Celtics in offensive rebounding, establishing himself as a full-time starter in the playoffs. The fact that Bass will be in a reserve role this year is a sign of the Celtics’ improvement.
“Barbosa’s a scorer, also,” Terry said. “So now you have two guys off the bench who are able to penetrate and not only create for themselves but create for other people. And that’s where we’re going to have our strength.
“When I came here, I knew this team was very deep and very versatile. At every position, guys can create off the dribble, and also spot up and shoot. So with that comes a very difficult task for Doc [Rivers] — to pick lineups and match guys together.
“It will be difficult for opponents to match up. A lot of teams, you can get caught up, gear up and load up for them. But with us, you don’t know who’s going to beat you with all the different lineups we can play.”