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Jeff Green Is Not Super Sad About Rondo’s Injury, Say Numbers

 

If you listened to Danny Ainge on Felger and Mazz last Tuesday, sorry about your car, because when you heard this quote about Jeff Green you probably lost control of the wheel and drove into a Honeydew Donuts:

“If you look at his last 23 games, since the Rondo injury, Jeff’s offensive efficiency is like fifth in the league.”

Not that Danny Ainge is a liar, just that those numbers seem…wrong? Jeff Green? Fifth most efficient player in the league over a quarter-plus of the season? I would have considered it middling-to-good news that he was the fifth most efficient player on his own team. Also, here’s the metric that Danny has traditionally used to measure Jeff Green’s value:

(number of Scrabble points in first name/original draft position)(“PF who can shoot three” wow-factor)^(percent of Ainge’s reputation at stake)

This algorithm has served Danny well for two years, but it seems he’s moved on to “offensive efficiency”: in this case, that’s probably your basic Points Per Possession factoring in field goals attempted, free throws, and turnovers.

And if that’s the stat Danny’s using? He’s sort of right. Over the last 23 games (not including last night’s), Jeff Green’s PPP is 1.053, which would be sixth in the league among players with at least 800 possessions if he’d done it over a full season. Sixth is “like fifth.” And if you do include the Hornets game, his PPP goes up a little.

For comparison, Durant’s league-leading PPP is 1.112, followed by LeBron with 1.099. Jeff Green would register a couple of thousandths ahead of James Harden and Tony Parker.

Chris Forsberg from ESPNBoston.com, statistics sommelier for this post, points out that 800 plays is a lot, and rules out guys like Tiago Splitter, Ray Allen, and Danny Green, who would bump Green to tenth if they were allowed on the list. But those players are good indicators for why Green’s PPP is so high: they all make their free throws and don’t handle the ball a lot (and therefore don’t turn it over).

So why is Green doing this without Rondo to get him the ball in efficient shooting locations? It may just be that Green, like Jason Terry, isn’t the catch-and-shoot player Ainge may have thought him to be when he signed him: Rondo tends to find Green for jumpers, and Green may just be more comfortable on cuts to the basket, as he seemed to be Monday night.

For the year, Green’s PPP is 0.975: 30th in the league for guys with over 800 plays, 52nd for over 600.

UPDATE: For those wondering, Green averaged 13.2 points per game in the five games Rondo missed this season before his ACL injury.

Statistical support provided by MySynergySports.com

  • idywild

    This title is a bit misleading. The date of Rondo's injury is a bit of a factor, but so are several other things. His recovery from injury, Doc's confidence in him to handle the ball more has increased and his getting more floor time. He has also gotten starting minutes, which is a factor that really matters. This doesn't mean that Rondo and Jeff wouldn't work well together, especially since they team is currently operating in a different system than before and Jeff's role has changed a bit. I doubt Ainge thought Jeff was a catch and shoot player. This scouting reports and film show this not to be true. This comment from Ainge was only indicating how valuable Jeff has been offensively over the time period, not stating that Green and Rondo can't work together which you are certainly implying in this piece.

  • High Rollers

    If Rondo can find AB on cuts, as last year demonstrated, then he can certainly find the ganglier Jeff Green in the same fashion.

    A lot of heat on Doc last night. Takes at least one full season of hammering home defensive principles for young players with big responsibilities and veteran role players coming from years with bad teams and even worse habits. It doesn’t surprise me when Doc puts a guy in proverbial Time-out at the expense of a bucket or two. This team can’t afford lapses in defensive energy and effort.

  • janos

    haynes is janos
    where was you go for som long ? am glad seen you here back

    • hdavenport

      hi janos. i had job stuff take me away for a while, still only able to post infrequently.

      are you excited for spring?

  • KillerGymRat

    Can't you guys write articles without dragging Rondo's name into it…every…damn…time.

    How about just focusing on Green's improved play. If you want to use Rondo's injury as a bench mark, fine. But the title is absurd and sensationalist hyperbole.

    But I guess that's journalism these days. And since nobody on this team is dating a Kardashian…let's keep beating the Rondo drum.

    Probably better than talking about the more relevant topic of – why this team falters against sub .500 teams and constantly plays down to the competition. We have 5 losses (at least) against the Cavs, Bobcats and (soon-to-be) Pelicans.

  • Rav

    Yeah, Jeff's not going to score 43 points for a while. Or 30+ for that matter. I'm getting the feeling that his stock has risen dramatically after that game, especially in terms of how good/useful he can be to the team going forward.

    He can be pretty useful; maybe he may even (hopefully) be $9 million-a-year useful. But the guy isn't going to hit 5-7 on 3pt-FGs again for a long time. Also, did you see some of the crazy lay-ups he was making? He was definitely in the zone, it was definitely a career night. By definition, he can't have another career night again. Great players are those who have "career nights" all the time, e.g. Lebron (37-7-12 that night).

    Shoot even Tony Delk scored 50 one time.

    • Anthony

      What's with the constant criticism over JGreen's contract? Was he supposed to negotiate down and tell DA and Wyc, "Thanks for the offer but I can't play up to my contract and you're overpaying me".

      I venture to say the way he's playing in the past 2 months, he's underpaid. His contract are as follows – $8.37, $8.79, $9.21, $9.62 (4th year player option).

      Which player in the league is better and has a more favorable contract? You most likely won't be able to come up with many names. I will also say he's playing as well as, if not better than Batum, EGordon, Jeremy Lin, Gerald Wallace, Barghani, and a bunch of others who have higher salaries than he does.

      • KillerGymRat

        Good points Anthony. No way he is underpaid though.

        I think the criticism isn't on Green for signing the contract. It was a smart move. It's really about Ainge offering an unproven player who struggled for the half-season he played for the C's, and had just come off of heart surgery, a rather substantial deal that is guaranteed, and made him the 4th highest paid player on the team behind 3 all-stars and two future hall of famers. I don't doubt his contract is part of the reason Allen left.

        Up until recently his play was far below the expectations of the 4th best player (IMO it still is) and there are actually at least 20 guys playing better on more favorable contracts including 6 all-stars (K-Love, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Jrue Holiday and Paul George), though in fairness some are having breakout seasons (such as Larry Sanders) and will get big deals on their next contract or are at the end of their first contract (Serge Ibaka).

        But Green's contract would have really only made sense if he was averaging 15ppg and something like 6 or 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. I can't agree with you on Batum since he is way more consistent then Green and is IMO a better all around player. He hurt his wrist and is playing injured so his stats are down, but it's because he can't shoot anymore.

        Even with his improved play Green is only averaging 11.7 pts and a terrible 3.5 rebs and less than 1 blk. Based on those numbers there are at least 40 guys playing better on cheaper deals. For a second contract it's the far end of the spectrum and not something he deserved.

        The deal is a gamble on Green's future value, and the verdict is out if he'll ever become consistent enough to deserve it.

        • Anthony

          To address your points:
          1) Ray signed his contract before JGreen did and as far as I know (from the same stuff you read/ see most likely), Ray was a mentor to JGreen. I doubt JGreen's contract negotiations led to Ray leaving.

          2) KLove is on while Harden and Blake will be on max contracts. Jrue is on favorable contract similar to Rondo. Kyrie, George, and Sanders are still on their rookie contracts so that isn't a good basis for comparison.

          3) In terms of stats, I think most people agree that he should be at ~15ppg, 6rb. The 2 blocks is a little unfair since he's not a rim protector and currently only 7 players average 2 blocks or better. However I would say that he is a two-way player who is very good playing man to man. Ibaka is averaging 13.3ppg, 7.8rb, 2.9blk and was rewarded with a $50mil contract. JGreen's #s are also a little misleading since he hasn't play a lot of minutes till recently. Over the past 2 months he avg ~31mins, 15.9ppg, 4.2rb, 2.2ast, 0.8st, 1.5blk while shooting 49 FG%, 43 3FG%, 85 FT%.

          @Hydrofluoric listed 11 players, all of who are starters (except Ryan Anderson who is a spot-starter) and play heavy minutes. To put that in perspective, that just 2.4% of the 450+ players in the league while 69 players or 15.3% are paid more than JGreen.

          If you want to take it further, here are the per 36 comparison and you will notice the names you listed are actually statistically worse than JGreen.

          GM FG% 3% FT%RB AS ST BL TOPPG
          JGreen – 22.49.43.854.82.50.91.71.8 18.3 (past 2 months)
          JGreen – 67.46.36.834.81.70.91.22.016.1
          Danilo – 64.42.37.825.32.50.90.61.516.3
          West – 65.49.22.768.33.21.01.12.218.7
          Batum – 66.43.37.855.44.51.21.12.513.8
          AK 47 – 47.51.29.766.53.11.61.22.214.0
          Duncan- 57 .51.28.819.92.70.82.72.017.2
          Nash – 45.49.43.923.17.30.70.12.813.8
          Andrsn – 68.43.38.847.41.40.60.51.419.2
          Asik – 68.53.00.5511.7 0.90.61.12.210.2
          Verjao – 25.48.00.7514.4 3.41.50.61.814.1
          Ersan – 61.46.44.799.02.11.20.71.216.6
          Conley – 65.43.36.842.86.52.40.32.514.5

          • Anthony

            Sorry about the layout, hopefully this is better:

            GMFG%3PT% FT% RB AS ST BL TO PPG
            JGreen22 .49 .43 .85 4.8 2.5 0.9 1.7 1.8 18.3 (past 2 months)
            JGreen67 .46 .36 .83 4.8 1.7 0.9 1.2 2.0 16.1
            Danilo64 .42 .37 .82 5.3 2.5 0.9 0.6 1.5 16.3
            West65 .49 .22 .76 8.3 3.2 1.0 1.1 2.2 18.7
            Batum66 .43 .37 .85 5.4 4.5 1.2 1.1 2.5 13.8
            AK 4747 .51 .29 .76 6.5 3.1 1.6 1.2 2.2 14.0
            Duncan57 .51 .28 .81 9.9 2.7 0.8 2.7 2.0 17.2
            Nash45 .49 .43 .92 3.1 7.3 0.7 0.1 2.8 13.8
            Andrsn68 .43 .38 .84 7.4 1.4 0.6 0.5 1.4 19.2
            Asik68 .53 .00 .5511.7 0.9 0.6 1.1 2.2 10.2
            Verjao25 .48 .00 .7514.4 3.4 1.5 0.6 1.8 14.1
            Ersan61 .46 .44 .79 9.0 2.1 1.2 0.7 1.2 16.6
            Conley65 .43 .36 .84 2.8 6.5 2.4 0.3 2.5 14.5

          • KillerGymRat

            Thanks for the post Anthony and for putting up those numbers. In all fairness, your original post said "Which player in the league is better and has a more favorable contract". Not specifically role players on their second contract. That may not be what you meant, but I took you literally.

            All the players I listed are making less than Green in this current season (according to my research) and producing far more and I did point out a few are on their rookie deal (aka first contract). Is it a fair comparison? It really depends on what you are gauging it on. The best players typically start, so of course guys playing better than him would be getting starters minutes. Minutes are typically more a reflection of a players ability than an imposed limit. And stand-outs on rookie deals are the best bargains of all so I consider that a more favorable contract.

            The numbers presented aren't for any of the players I mentioned. But I'm happy to respond. Though to really discuss them, we'd have to set a ground rule since in many cases we're comparing guys from wildly different positions (say Conley and Nash). You're saying the entire list is statistically worse than Green, but based on what?

            From the numbers I see, that's only if you're looking at PPG…and then he still isn't as good as Anderson or West.

            Let me preface this by saying I like Green and think he has a pretty big upside if he can continue to develop. But his game is very limited. He really only provides points and even that is inconsistent. He's a below average rebounder (far below). So if we are using that stat, he's terrible for his position and near the bottom of this list just beating Nash and Conley who are PGs. He barely registers in assists, so again he's near the bottom in that category. And if we go to steals he's nowhere near the top. He does stand up well in blocks. But he's tied for 4th in FG%. His 3 pt % is impressive, but still not the best. And he's got more turnovers than a handful of guys despite not being a primary ball handler.

            So again, I don't know how you can make a blanket statement that the names on that list are statistically worse. One could argue most of those guys are providing higher value in more categories, so are therefore better.

            You also can't couch his stats by saying he wasn't getting enough minutes. He wasn't getting minutes because he play didn't warrant increased minutes and he wasn't doing anything with the minutes he got. Doc would have given him all the minutes he wanted (I'm sure PP would love the extra rest) if he was consistently putting up solid numbers across the board. As most people on here were happy to point out, he wasn't doing anything on the court during that time save for making his contract seem like a terrible idea.

            I do get your point. Green is playing much, much better. And if he can continue to improve, he may not only be worthy of that contract, but an elite player with all-star potential. At the moment though he followed up his astounding 43 pt game with a 13 pt 2 reb 0 ast mediocre showing that is much more likely to happen on any night than the 43 pt gem.

            I'm hoping he can improve his rebounding and all around game. This team really needs his scoring, but he won't be worthy of that contract if that's all he can do.

          • KillerGymRat

            And PS: you're likely right about Ray. Though I'm pretty sure everyone knew the C's planned to resign Green to a sizable deal, who knows why Ray truly left.

            And on the block tip. 2 blks isn't the expectation. It's really what I feel like he is capable of if he gets starter minutes and puts the effort in. Though maybe 1.7 – 1.8 is more likely. When he's on, it sparks both ends of the floor evidenced by 5 blks in his 31 pt game and 4 blks against Miami.

            IMO he's capable of being a 18.3 ppg 6.8 reb 2.3 ast 1.1 stl 1.8 blk statline. And he could easily be a 20 plus pt scorer if he develops a midrange game and more moves off the dribble.

            Will that ever happen. We'll see.

          • hydrofluoric

            Awesome to have these stats. I pasted em into Excel and am now going through them.

            Gallo: Other than BLK and overall FG% (which I don't find very valuable for a guy like Gallo who chucks lots of 3s), Gallo is slightly better in pretty much every category, including both higher AST and lower TO. Telling I think because they play the same position (3 or stretch 4).

            D-West: Doesn't make 3s, but better stats everywhere else.

            Batum: Better everywhere except scoring – plus he's a really tenacious defender at a position where defense is invaluable.

            AK47: Scores a little less, gives more in AST and REB and STL, defends more intelligently than Green.

            Duncan: Not really a fair comparison to Green since he took a hometown discount, but yeah.

            Nash: 49-43-92 shooting, WAY higher AST despite rarely even handling the ball anymore.

            Anderson: Stretch 4 who shoots, rebounds, and scores better than Green.

            Asik: Not really fair to measure him by box score stats since he's known for his defense. But he clearly soaks up the paint and he's actually finishing decently at the rim.

            Varejao: Got hurt, but his numbers were insane while he was active this season.

            Ersan: 44% from 3 alone, and then he sweeps Green in every other category except blocks.

            Conley: Ballhawk (not QUITE Bradley-level, but I believe 2.4 SPG leads the league). And he play-makes in a very crappy Memphis offense with terrible spacing.

            All of this of course has to take into account the fact that Jeff's overall statline has been boosted dramatically by his last 22 games. And I would argue that games like the one he had against NOH, where he was statistically very efficient but couldn't earn more minutes, hurt his case a bit and lead to slightly inflated per-36 numbers.

          • hydrofluoric

            Just for fun, some players who are defensive-rebounding as well as or better than Jeff Green, %-wise:

            Rajon Rondo
            Jason Kidd
            Greivus Vasquez
            Tyreke Evans
            Ricky Rubio
            Nando de Colo
            Kyle Lowry
            JJ Barea
            JR Smith
            Vince Carter
            Andre Iguodala
            Kobe Bryant
            Dwyane Wade
            Tony Allen
            Manu Ginobli
            Kyle Korver
            Luke Walton
            Andrea Bargnani
            Rashard Lewis
            Brandon Bass
            Antawn Jamison

      • hydrofluoric

        Better players in the same paygrade:

        David West @ 10 mil
        Danilo Gallinari @ 9.4 mil
        Nicolas Batum @ 10.9 mil
        Andrei Kirilenko @ 9.8 mil
        Tim Duncan @ 9.6 mil
        Steve Nash @ 9.8 mil
        Ryan Anderson @ 8.7 mil
        Omer Asik @ 8.4 mil
        Anderson Varejao @ 8.4 mil
        Ersan Ilyasova @ 7.9 mil
        Mike Conley @ 7.5 mil

        Most of these guys aren't WAY better than Green (currently) though. If Jeff continues to play as well as he has since Rondo went down, he'll certainly be worth it.

        • fabzzz

          That's a pretty impressive list. Though, honestly, I might take Green over Nash at this point. And Duncan probably took a cut to play for the Spurs and help them win.

          But like KGR said Green's contract is an investment and probably can't be properly judged (unless he really, really, breaks out- like in the starting lineup, 17 and 5 kind of breaking out) until the third year.

      • Rav

        I didn't outright criticize the contract in my post (though to be fair I referred to it in somewhat snide fashion). Nevertheless, I do criticize the contract, though I don't criticize Green for it: it was his objective to get paid as much as he can (an objective, it seems, he – along with the help of his agent – accomplished fairly well). I do criticize the Celtics' front office team, however.

        I'll admit that when you originally challenged me to come up with players in the same pay grade who are better I thought you had caught me out (after eliminating rookie-scale players, it took me while to think). Generally, that $9-$11 million range is where a lot of almost-all stars and big men who're overvalued in a league where there seems to be no 7-footers with skill anymore get overpaid. A number of your examples esp. Bargnani are well-known to be some of the worst contracts in the league.

        That said, Hydrofluoric has a pretty solid list. We must also remember that Green gets a little knock in value because he's a tweener (i.e. he isn't a plus player at either the 3 or 4 spots – save for the last two months of course).

        If he can continue playing the way he has the past two months for the rest of his contract he's well worth it. If he regresses to his mean, then no.

  • elroz

    Well, great for Jeff…

    Meanwhile, they still dropped another game to a bad team, and are looking at a 4 game losing streak if they don't win in Dallas, as Memphis is next on a segebaba.

    Unless they turn it around RIGHT NOW, they should just rest players and get ready to be the 8th seed – maybe that's the only way they can do some real damage.

  • fabzzz

    Killer gym rat-
    First of all, this isnt journalism, its a blog.
    Second of all, calling an article with a title that is meant to be funny sensationalist hyperbole is the most sensationally hyperbolic thing you can do.

    Also, are you really surprised people are interested in what makes Jeff Green play well after he just went toe to toe with LeBron James? A possible answer is Rondo’s absence. Probably the best one. What do you think? I would be much more interested in hearing that than you repeatedly slamming the writers.

    Not trying to be an antagonist but it sucks when someone seems like they only want to criticize peoples writing.

    But Hayes is probably used to it- he does this professionally

    • KillerGymRat

      First off, this site is about sharing opinions. Hell the login is called "Intense Debate", so I am sharing my opinion. And I am happy and willing to debate it.

      I've been on here all season. And I've praised far more than I bashed. I'd say this is the second time I slammed any of the writers directly. Yesterdays comments by Brian were completely unfounded. And if you think it's bashing somebody to present valid facts and stats, that were completely ignored, then we have to agree to disagree.

      I didn't criticize this article. Only the title. It's stupid and unnecessary. And yes, that is my opinion. Which is what this forum is for. Sharing opinions, no?

      This title is silly. Is it funny? Perhaps to some. There are a lot funnier ones I could come up with (also being a professional writer). To me, I'm tired of the Rondo bashing as there is no point or anyway to ever prove that the team would or would not be better with his involvement.

      There was no point to bring him into this article at all. Yes, lets enjoy and celebrate a remarkable, career-best game that Jeff had. It was spectacular to watch. Though it's soured for me when he fails to play up to that potential and we lose to the Hornets.

      Rondo happens to be one of my favorite players. And a guy who plays with a dislocated elbow and then an ACL tear deserves more respect IMO.

      And this being a site for "Intense Debate" I will continue to bash as I see fit.

      You feel free to criticize away.

      Or skip any post you see with my name.

    • KillerGymRat

      And FYI this falls into the literal definition of journalism :)

      "A journalist collects, writes and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism."

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