This is the first season in which forward Jeff Green has been completely healthy during his time with the Boston Celtics. Green was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Celtics in February 2011 for popular center Kendrick Perkins.
When the lockout was lifted in December, the Celtics’ medical staff found an aortic aneurysm in Green’s heart. He was forced to undergo season-ending surgery and there were doubts whether Green could return to the court. Green and the Celtics organization believed that Green would be back with the team for the following season.
Last year, Green made his return to the court. During the season, Green mainly came off the bench as he only started in 17 of the 81 games he made an appearance on the court. Green averaged 12.8 points per game and he became a force after point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a torn right ACL in a January 27th game against the Atlanta Hawks. Despite a 105-103 loss to the Miami Heat on March 18th, Green scored 43 points without Kevin Garnett in the lineup.
In Green’s time with the Celtics, he has played behind Paul Pierce. Pierce received more attention from opposing defenses. Since the Celtics sent Pierce and Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets this summer, opponents will try to neutralize Green and prevent him from going to his right when he attacks the net.
Green can play three different positions and he was the fifth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. He also helped lead the Georgetown Hoyas to the Final Four in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Throughout his career, Green has always been a reluctant star in which he can affect the game on so many different levels, but he disappears at times. He is a 6-foot-9-inch forward who can score and he has the length to defend top scorers like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Green has never found any consistency in his career. The Thunder traded Green to the Celtics because they already had Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They were not willing to hand Green a big contract.
With a rebuilding roster, Green will be asked to provide a significant chunk of scoring for the Celtics.He is also one of the few Celtics players who can create their own shot. Since the Celtics lack an experienced center, Green will have to improve his rebounding. Overall, the Celtics need Green to finally display the glimpses of potential he has shown throughout his career on a daily basis.
Without a go-to-scorer, the Celtics have struggled finishing out quarters in the preseason. During the regular season, Green must take an aggressive approach and he will be the player who is asked to make plays down the stretch in close games.
Will Green be ready to lead the Celtics?