Back on the 22nd, Hayes wrote this about last night’s game:
4/1 – @Atlanta: The Hawks obviously could give two dookies about seeding, playoff durability, or winning basketball games. It’s a road SEGABABA (the second of four), but I just don’t think this team looks very good right now. Call this a likely win.
And he was right for two and a half quarters. The Hawks jacked up so many inefficient jump shots last night that it almost looked like they had no idea the final score counted in this game. Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford were a combined 5- for- 21 in 15foot+ jumpers. That’s less than 25%. Just take a look at Johnson’s shot chart and explain how any of those jumpers came within the flow of an NBA offense.
But I digress…
The Celtics lost another basketball game and the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves couldn’t help them out. Both succumbed to the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, respectively. None of this information- the loss, the fall in the standings, seeding- should bother the Celtics more than the production they are getting out of Jeff Green.
Earlier in the week I traded emails with Henry Abbott about the trade. He noticed that in the Celtics loss to the Pacers on the 28th, any combination that had Green and Nenad Krstic on the floor together produced a negative result. I quickly informed Henry about the foul trouble of the Celtics’ bigs in that game and not to read too much into it. He then asked me about other games and Green’s production, and I, like a good Celtics’ apologist, began talking about Green needing time to get acclimated to his new digs. The Henry asked me about Gerald Wallace and Kendrick Perkins and how that “acclimation window” was doing for them. See where this is going? Needless to say, more rationalization ensued.
After last night’s game, Henry appears more and more right. Green played 23 minutes, had 4 points, 0 REBOUNDS, and was an overall minus 14. What is going on with him? Someone mentioned that in the Spurs game the other night, Green was an overall +12 off the bench, which is great. But he’s also a guy who’s 6’9″ and only secured 3 rebounds in 17 minutes. When talking about getting impact production from the Celtics’ bench, you can be James Posey or Nate Robinson. In other words, you can be a guy that comes in and gives your team a lift with his defense and his ability to put the ball in the basket when it counts, or you can be the guy that comes in and gives your team an emotional lift with a timely three pointer. Jeff Green has proven he is neither thus far. He does not have good instincts when defending a small forwards and he doesn’t rebound well enough to guard big men.
The good news is for the Celtics immediate future, they need Jeff Green to sop up minutes rather than necessarily be in impact player. And to be fair about Green’s performance last night, if we are giving a pass to other Celtics for it being a SEGABABA, than we have to extend that same courtesy to Green.
So that was my rant about Jeff Green…let’s go over a few other notes from last night’s game:
- Glen Davis had a forgettable shooting night, aside from that end-of-the-clock three point shot he failed to hit a jumper from outside of 6 feet. Eeeshh.
- The Celtics were extra chippy tonight with a few scuffles between former teammates in Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce and Jermaine O’Neal and Zaza Pachulia. It’s pretty obvious that Pachulia dislikes the Celtics, which goes back to that pick KG set three years ago. The Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson thing was a little weirder. In the first quarter there was some talk and some shoving. The, late in the game, Pierce inadvertently takes Johnson’s legs out from under him and then makes doubly sure that he is okay. He was and they were. I think the chippy-ness is an example of the Celtics reasserting their swagger after a month of hearing how the Perkins trade made them lose their edge.
- It’s funny to think that if the Celtics hit their free throws, they win this game. Pierce and Baby had some uncharacteristic misses from the line and it almost proved to be the difference.
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