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Video: Where’s the FIRE in Jeff Green?

 

Fans of the Boston Celtics have been waiting for Jeff Green to get it going.  Since coming to Boston, Green has looked out of place, tentative, and really lacking in the fire for which this Celtics team is known.  These fans may be waiting in vain but I can understand why they are still waiting. Green has shown flashes of something the Celtics surely need: a combo forward.  A guy who can play inside and out.  A guy that can spell Paul Pierce on the defensive end.

Oklahoma City considered Green the weak link of their outstanding starters, so they shipped him out for some bulk (it also helped that they had a dynamo in Serge Ibaka waiting in the wings.  The Thunder were done waiting for Green’s impressive physical tools to help them. The Celtics have not reached that point yet.  In fact, they have no choice but to wait for him.  Paul Pierce cannot play all 48 minutes for (at the very least) 12 more games and Green has to give the Celtics more than 6 fouls.

The numbers don’t provide much hope:

(From: www.Basketball-Reference.com)

Right now, Green is playing slightly worse than he did in 6 playoff games last year.  It’s a small sample size for sure, and Green is not being counted on to provide as much offensively or defensively as he was for OKC, but the numbers for any player do not exactly inspire confidence.

Now for some good news.  First, take a look at this:

This came early in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s close-out win and is the most aggressive I have seen Green play the entire playoffs.  He defends Anthony at the three point line, moves his feet, doesn’t give up on the play, snags the rebound, keeps his elbows high, gives a little “‘scuse me” forearm, and passes well out of the double team.  After this play, Green snags a rare offensive rebound and looked far more active on the offensive glass than I have ever seen him.

Will this one play be a turning point?  We obviously cannot say for sure.  Luckily, Green will have one responsibility next series: guarding explosive wing players (whether that be LeBron James, Andre Iguodala, or Thaddeus Young).  These potential matchups for Green are also more favorable than guarding Carmelo Anthony.  Instead of encouraging the drive like he had to do with Anthony, Green will encourage the shot and he is much more effective at backing up with space than trying to keep up with quick forwards after chesting up.

Whether or not Green can bottle up this little two minute sequence in the fourth quarter and break it out when necessary remains to be seen (and is, let’s be honest, doubtful) but he’ll have at least a full week to figure it out.

  • Dan

    I say no.

    As someone who watched him on the Thunder extensively, I think he's playing exactly up to expectations. He'll give you a play or two a night that make you wonder "what if" and then will go back to looking hesitant and uninterested.

    Also, going from that chart you gave, it looks like Green has been slightly worse, not better, in this years playoffs. Though when you're arguing between a PER of 8 and 4, it doesn't really matter, as neither is going to get it done.

    • jacksobd

      Good call. I wrote that wrong and have since corrected it. The rebound rates are great but your anecdotal contribution is consistent with what we've seen so far. It's too bad really. He killed my Eagles in the tournament during his last year at Georgetown. When the Celtics traded for him, I figured he owed me something.

      Did you see any aggression in OKC? I didn't but I wasn't necessarily looking for it before.

      • Dan

        Not really, although there he was a definite 3rd option and rarely got touches. Then again, he never really seemed to demand them, and was playing out of position anyways.

        I don't meant to sound so hard on Green, but I really think aside from getting anything in return, just getting rid of Green helped the Thunder. Now Durant gets to be the SF and it freed up minutes for Ibaka, who has been great.

        If the desire to prove himself on a new team and the (I'm assuming) constant harrasement by KG hasn't been enough motivation for him, I really don't see Green becoming the player we all wanted. It doesn't mean he won't have his moments, but my guess is he continues to frustrate us.

  • zack

    I think he might need to get angry, or pushed in some way. Have Doc say if you can't defend or score you are coming out and sitting on the bench. After Green pulled down that rebound he seemed angry that melo would even try to take the ball from him. Really I think he needs to show some emotion, some kind of sign that he cares if they win or lose. GET ANGRY GREEN. Someone should hit him in the face before he goes in, slap him around a little, maybe have KG smack talk Green instead of the other team? I really have no idea how to get Green going, but sitting back and waiting for him seems like we could be waiting a long time. Maybe a push could get him going?

  • James Patrick

    We knew what we had with Perk. We're waiting for Green to find his place. At the end of the season, we won't have either of them. SO why trade Perk?

    You think the C's are going to pay Green big money to be a back up? I wish we had kept Daniels. Alot of good Troy Murphy or some of those other guys at the end of the bench are doing. Daniels might've been good for next season after his recovery.

    • Dan

      I believe we can always sign him next year anyways – he's an unrestricted free agent. Because of the injury, his trade was strictly for financial reasons and roster space.

    • skeeds

      Because we had 5 big men (Shaq,J.O.,Semih,Davis,Perk) and no backup SF? Daniels was out. And though it felt really bad, risking Pierce's health and performance in the playoffs is worth more than Perk period. I bet Doc would rather play Semih at the 5 for a whole season rather than play without a backup 3.

  • Zee

    Green will be fine. It's all about learning and taking on the spirit of the team. That can't happen overnight. While on OKC, he played with players that didn't really play "team ball," but just another LJ/Wade situation.

  • Ryan DeGama

    A reminder of what the Daily Thunder's Royce Young told us right after the deal. See if it was prophetic in any way:

    "Let me be forthright: Jeff Green will frustrate you. He will annoy you. He will make you say, “What is this guy doing?!?”

    But he’s also a very good basketball player that does very good basketballing things. He makes big plays. He’s a good passer and ball-handler. And at times, a very good outside shooter.

    But where he lacks is staying consistent. He tends to float, sometimes completely forgets he’s 6-9 and can rebound and often settles for outside jumpers far too much. He’s not a great defender and really doesn’t fit well into a position. However for what he’ll be called to do in Boston, he might be a perfect fit. He can settle into a scoring role off the bench and not have to worry about battling premier power forwards every night.

    Plus, he’s just 24 and still hasn’t entirely hit his ceiling. The Celtics will have to figure out what they can pay him (or if they even want to) this offseason as he’s a restricted free agent. But he’s valuable because of his versatility, character and athleticism.

    But you’ve been warned. He’ll make you throw something at some point. But you won’t be able to stop yourself from liking him anyway."

    • Batman

      Well I've fallen into the trap….I love him

    • kricky

      Uggh. I don't want to talk about the damn trade after everything that has goen right the last few weeks. What a buzz Kill!

      Green man the fuck up next series. If you don't, we'll all have our verdict on the trade.

      • james patrick

        Yeah, I still don't think Ainge has any intentions of paying him the $$$ he wants but we'll see.

  • Guest

    Jeff Green will break out in this series.

  • james patrick

    haha you guys gotta see this you tube video of CP3 picking Derek Fisher! I'd love to see Fisher try to keep up with Rondo!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-g4D8r0wWg&fe

  • MikeD

    typical john hollinger on the C's Heat next round: "I still think the Heat will breeze past them fairly easily in the next round." Bahahaha. How can someone who claims to be an NBA insider and expert say the Heat will breeze past the Celtics? The guy is an absolute joke.

    • James Patrick

      He hates the Celtics and rarely wants to give the C's credit for anything. Screw that guy! lol

    • greg

      just read that myself. what a joke indeed. what games does this guy watch… d-league?

    • http://twitter.com/seanmaki @seanmaki

      Remember how many ESPN "experts," including Hollinger, picked the Celtics to beat Cleveland in last year's playoffs? Zero. From a dozen or so analysts, not one of them picked the C's to beat LeBron and the Cavs. Really goes to show how much some of these so-called experts know.
      Hollinger is also the same guy who tried to argue that Derrick Rose is not yet an 'elite' point guard. His pronouncements are to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • dal

    Jeff Green happens to play with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo. If those guys and the best coach in basketball today, Doc Rivers, can't get this guy to play with the proverbial "edge", I don't know who can. Jeff Green is a diamond in the rough. Just like our man said, he just needs to realize he's physically gifted and use his talents.

    If he has to go up against Miami's bench, I don't see anyone who can keep up with him. Mike Miller? James Jones?

    Here's hoping for the Jeff Green everyone wants him to be – DOMINANT.

  • James

    The final lesson of the Perkins Trade-

    Thank god Danny was able to move that fifth pick in '07.

  • Greg de Marchi

    I wonder if we could have gotten JAMES HARDEN instead of JEFF GREEN??? Any thoughts? G$

    • dslack

      No.

      • Robert

        Yea, there's no way we would have got Harden. He's part of their long-term plans, Green was not.

    • Batman

      Harden is a stud
      Love his beard

  • Padraig

    ok first off Jeff Green is not counted on to do a whole lot and he's seemed to fit into his role recently honestly, maybe more practice time this week will help him fit in a little bit more as well…for the minutes he plays he's not going to dominate, but he played pretty damn good D on Melo which surprised me and is a really good sign if he can rebound and score a little more he'll be fine….call me crazy i hated him at first honestly but I hope the Celtics can resign him bc he reminds me of Rondo a few years ago a guy who is very physically gifted poses matchup problems but clearly isn't very comfortable or has yet to find his roe or figure out what kind of player he wants to be in the NBA and I believe this veteran group and this experience can bring that out of him

  • Francois H. Pienaar

    There is something about Jef Green that makes me want to see what he is going to do next. He looks pretty solid at times and has made the odd tough basket. Let's see how he develops.

  • Jon

    I have watched Jeff Green play extensively in OKC and in the series with Lakers he was guarding Pau, Lamar, Bynum, and Kobe. That's not an excuse but playing out of position and being the third option he struggled a bit with his shot in that series but in OKC he was sent to the 3pt line and if it came to him he was supposed to shoot it.

    Now with the celtics his production is low because he isn't playing many minutes and he seems to be a late option unless a post play is ran for him. He is behind Pierce, Allen, Garnett, Rondo, BBD as far as shots. I think this Knick series showed that he can play solid defense which he did as best as you could. I think in the next series he is going to be the same since he is going to be needed on defense more than anything

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