Post-game Reactions

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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  • Steve B

    Like the Celtics lately, Green's up and down play is very frustrating. Against the Spurs he took the ball two different times from near the foul line, drove to the basket and made a couple of nice bank shots. You watch that and have to think, he could do that any time he wants to. I don't mind him shooting a three or midrange jumper but he has the skills and talent to get to the hoop and make shots. He can back down his man, shoot over him or shoot a fadeaway. I posted here before that if he played with even 80% of the intensity of KG he would be a monster for this team. While he makes what he does look easy he needs to show the passion, work to get the ball in good position, and be aggressive on the second unit to score. When he gets the ball 10 feet away from the rim then passes to Baby 18 feet away that is not helping the cause.

  • Steve B

    Part II
    If he's reached this level and doesn't show that passion and drive he may not have it in him. He seems like a nice guy with talent but maybe needs more heart. I live near Syracuse and watched Billy Owens dominate in college with a lot of the same skills as Green. Problem was Owens could have been better in college and when he reached the NBA, serious disappointment given that talent.
    Here's hoping Green finds his role and proper level of assertiveness, otherwise the loss of Perkins and possibly Nenad was a major fail.

  • Keith

    I know it has been written about ad nauseum, both to the good and the bad, but the trade is a disaster. Ainge broke Rule #1 of GM's, you don't break up a title favorite for some potential future payoff. Orlando had to do something as Vince Carter will never win, but they also did it in December, not February. The Big 3's window is very small. You ride it out and then start the tanking in 2013. Fans would understand that, not this. I know they would have got nothing for Perk when he left this July, but Ainge got nothing anyway. Krstic is a solid 15 minute backup and Green is a p*ssy. Can't rebound, can't defend, doesn't care, low basketball IQ. These were all comments about him from the OKC bloggers. He is in the game for chunks of time and you don't even know he is there.

    • kricky

      You are right. He was kind of a disappointment in OKC. What made us think he would be better in Boston (where he has to fill a much more demanding role as the #1 bench guy)?

  • Keith

    Basketball, more than any other sport, relies on teamwork and chemistry. This team was outrageously tight. That is what I loved so much about them, particularly in 2008 with Posey, Powe, and House. Trading Perk nuked that to the point that the Big 3 era is over. What was the point of keeping Ray, Paul, and Doc if you were going to trade Perk? The apologists will say they were 33-10 without Perk, but that is because they had a relatively healthy Shaq, JO, and Semih. Ainge put all his chips on 2 very big health risks. Not to mention that 5 new guys simply cannot assimilate themselves without training camp bonding and practice. To do this much overhaul with less than 2 months in the season is suicide. Ainge did great in 2007, but completely blew this up now.

    • Mattapan

      I can see u know yur basketball and i agree with u 100%. Perk was the heart of that defense. He gave u 150% every night..Very physical and was the only real rebounder on this team. Now every team has 3 shots at the basket before the celtics get one rebound. I don't think they can pay Green what he wants and Nenard is gone because of lack of defense.If they don't think Perk is that important to the team they need to stop saying that we would have won game 7 if Perk was healthy.

  • Keith

    I am embarrassed to say how much this bothers me. I don't think I have missed one game of the Big 3 era. However, I am now so disgusted that I have been blowing off games left and right. As a fan, I am cheering for players, not uniforms. Ainge doesn't get that. He mentions Eric Williams, but he was not as important to us as Perk. I would rather have lost with Perk, than win without him. Plus, who doesn't think we win Game 7 last year with Perk? Ainge was so determined to avoid the dry spell after the original Big 3, that he torched this team one or two years too soon. The post-Bird era got some unprecedented bad breaks – Bias, Lewis, Duncan, Pitino. It was not something to plan against. Just a run of bad luck. Argh! This just sucks. Apologies for the too long comment. I just had to vent.

    • Steve B

      @Keith. Exactly how I've been feeling about this whole thing. Even when not winning it all the last two years I was still 100% behind everything going on and cared about everyone on the team. Now, not so much. I hope they win me over but the reality is this team will look vastly different a year or two from now. There may only be two or three players remaining in two years.

      • kricky

        Thumbs up guys! Like Simmons wrote in his column: "I don't want to root for laundry". We grow attached to these guys as players and people. Especially when we watch them grow up into great pros and bust their asses to help make our team better.

  • Mike

    It wouldn't hurt for Doc to try the lineup he said he could now go with since Posey went to the hornets. Yet he keeps going with Davis and that hurt the team and has been for a while. I now its because of defense but if we're not scoring why not put Green in. Sheesh why not JO since they were just killing us on the offensive glass. If he doesn't want to play Green in that role why was the trade made? If it was just for a small forward I'm sure there was better defensive small forwards for less than Perkins.

    I just don't think this has anything to do with the trade. This has to do with poor rebounding and poor shooting down the strech. Those can be mended and I think we'll do just fine in the playoffs. We just need more grit, UBUNTU. And Doc needs to stop with the Baby love and needs to start watching the game and what the team needs at that moment and not play favorites.

    • Mike

      Oh and good news. Krstic apparently has bruised the bone in the knee and is day to day.

    • derrick

      i agree with you Mike…BB killed us last night…Doc need to change up the lineup in the4th quarter if BB is not on….we are 6-5 with BB in the game in the 4th quarter….Put Green or West in the game at least they will hit a jump shot…BB was very tired thats why he couldnt hit his free throws or all those jumpers in the 4th…Doc is making me sick with that line up in the 4th.

  • Doc Rivers isn't that good a coach. If the Celtics had Popovich, we'd be looking at 60+ wins, a well-rested team, and plenty of chemistry. Doc is a public relations genius. He has become the most overrated coach in NBA history.

  • kricky

    Question: What's wrong with Green?

    Answer: He's just not that good. Even Nate gave us more of a lift than he does.

    The trade is an absolute disaster of biblical proportions (to put it in terms Mormon Deacon Danny may understand).

    Also we may be getting some negative Karma payback for the way the organization has treated guys the last few years: First Leon and now Perk.

  • GowGow

    On Thursday the Cs became gods, today we're back to the same "I miss Perkin" sh*t. Get over it.

  • Mark

    LOL…how can anyone be shocked, still, over Green's lack of rebounds? Since day one of his NBA career Green has been a horrible rebounder for his size/position. He's always been passive and unwilling to get "dirty" down in the paint.

    Don't misunderstand, I like Green and understand he has a ton of potential, still, but until he becomes more aggressive he'll continue to confound. I suspect it has something to do with playing next to Durant in OKC.

  • Celticsbanner

    The Trade was great. Danny is a GREAT GM who has made a few mistakes (Gerald Green, Avery Bradley?). Idiots complained about losing Al Jefferson in the KG trade, screamed about giving up the "cant miss" #1 pick Joe Barry Carrol and the #13 pick, for the #3 pick (Kevin McHale) and a seldom used center (Robert Parish). Now they're complaining about losing a 6'10" stone hand center who averaged 6.6 pts and 7.9 rebounds a game for his career. Meanwhile, the Celtics got back: 1. a young, fast, athletic 3 with a post up game and 3pt range who has not scratched his potential; and 2: a 7' center with great hands, who can finish with either hand around the hoop and who has a face up jumper. The Celtics have not figured out to use either one effectively. Given the timing and lack of practice time it's understandable that they would be trying to fit square pegs in rounds holes, but they still hav a couple weeks to figure it out.
    Doc is a great motivational "players' coach" with a few weaknesses such as sometimes being slow to call a T.O., or recognize a bad matchup, or not allow Krstic to crash the offensive glass (an obvious strength). But no coach is perfect. They all have strengths and weaknesses. In this game, the Krstic injury forced Baby to start at 5 so he couldn't be the effective 6th man/energy guy. Playing 5 for so any minutes also explains why he was tired, didn't take it to the hoop, why Pachulia played well, and why Baby's jump shot was off at end. Pierce settled for too many quick jumpers in the 4th too. This game was winnable, but C's did not put their foot on the gas when they had a 10 pt lead (most of the game). Instead of putting their foot on Atlana's throat, they let Atlanta hang around, and as usual it cost them.
    Green will be great running the break with Rondo once they have time together. Like Pierce, he needs to attack the hoop more (in all fairness, Pierce has been better this year than in the last three at attacking the hoop). I doubt that Green will ever be a great, consistent rebounder. It would be nice if he could learn from Pierce and attack the boards in big games, or at big times. Like it or not, Baby and Delonte are our impact players off the bench. We need one more.
    If you want to wish for something other than Shaq returning: hope that Murphy can return to his career playing form. We could really use one more 7' guy who can, box out, rebound, and hit a face up J. Don't any of you Perkins worshippers realize he was injured when the trade was made and missed 3 weeks? Don't any of you realize that we had no wing big enough to guard a Lebron or Kobe or Wallace if Pierce got in Gould trouble or tweaked an ankle?

    • kricky

      Yes, but it's not like we couldn't have pursued some other trades to fill those holes while still keeping Perk.

      That trade with Cleveland still puzzles me. Why trade those guys for such a low pick. I think something else was in the works (Parker? Moon?) but eventually got derailed when the big trade went down.

    • ozcelts

      I've always been a Danny fan but surely we'll need to wait until any judgement on the trade is meaningful

      One thing I can't figure out is this:
      Ainge stated that if Perk had signed a new contract he'd still be with the C's. I thought the objective was to win now ie in 2011 rather than building for the future. Don't these 2 positions contradict?

  • Celticsbanner

    "got in foul trouble"

  • jim

    In all honesty Jeff Green has not showed us much but in all fairness the guy has not played much. At this point in the season we need to see what he can do. Having Big Baby starting and taking as many shots as he does has been a huge disaster. He has shot us out of more games then I care to think about. Clearly last night he was gassed in the fourth quarter. I am really surprised that Doc keeps going to him. There has to be a better way. Without our Bigs we are doomed. Shaq, Jermaine and Kristic we need you now!!.

    • Elbrett

      If he'd shown more, you can believe he would've played more. He could give much needed rest to a few older players. I think it's more than just mental passivity with Green. While he's physically fluid, he's not explosive. Explosiveness probably trumps fluidity.

  • Jesse

    as a die hard celtics fan i am pretty damn f**kin upset with the trade. all this bs talk about banner number 18 and D.A breaks ups the closest group of core guys in all the NBA!!??? he should just get fired and when he asks why they should just say….. banner number 18 b*tch

  • Jon

    I think that the Celtics are still getting used to Jeff not the other way around. You have 4 potential HOF on the floor how can you dominate the ball. I think he is still looking toward them instead of doing him. Side note they need to get ray the ball more too. I think the celtics need to go to him cause it seems to me like they don't believe in him offensively (Jeff). He will do something good a couple times but then they might stop going to him.

  • TedL

    The Cs were playing better in the first half of the season, when Perk was still wearing street clothes. So the problem can't be Perk not being on the floor – we didn't have him then and we don't have him now.

    What is it? Maybe Shaq being gone; he was awfully efficient and a good intimidator. Maybe BBD regressing. Or maybe something else. But I can't believe it's because Perk's gone. How does that work? Everybody's too sad Perk got traded to play well? Doesn't make sense.

    • torpid bunny

      I think part of it is that teams in general are playing better now. The celtics can't go out and beat up the other team for a few quarters than watch them fold. And they can't just turn it on in the last five minutes like they did so often earlier. Basically the level of competition increases as the season goes on and the celtics have not progressed. Their offense does seem to lack the fluidity it had with Shaq. I'm not sure why. As the article shows, the second unit is still a liability, although maybe it will gel more with Delonte healthy.

    • kricky

      It's really a combination of things IMHO:

      The bench never really gelled from the start and the starters had to play too many minutes and are fatigued now.

      The reason they didn't gel was they were missing Delonte (who could run the offense). And then he went out with a big injury.

      By the time we were set to get everyone back and finally get the bench going Marquise goes out for the season.

      Now we NEED to make a big move to solidify the bench and get a wing player hat can fit that TA role. So we make the god awful trade. Bu this leaves us thin up front with the O'Neals still out. The new guys we do get have not delivered.

      In other words a recipe for disaster 🙁

      • Elbrett

        So it really starts with not signing TA. That set the whole chain of events in motion. In essence we've given up KP and TA for Nenad and Green. That is one helluva downgrade in defense and physical presence. With no great offsetting upgrade offensively. Green is a smoother player than TA but I'm not sure he ultimately produces more points. Kristic is a big upgrade over Perkins in theory, but in reality doesn't give you so much.

        • kricky

          Interesting way of looking at it. In the end, if we get back Shaq and producing the bottom lien will be TA and Perk for Shaq and Green. Would we have pulled a trade lie this at the beginning of the season?