Until Rajon Rondo was close to returning to action, Jeff Green’s disappearing act was the main Boston basketball story this season. His leadership on and off the court leaves much to be desired and so has his play as the team’s No. 1 scoring option. In fact, his 16.8 points per game is on pace to be the lowest for a Celtics’ leading scorer since Dee Brown in 1993-94. Therefore, we know that the 27-year old forward out of Georgetown cannot consistently score without at least one running mate.
On Saturday, Green will start with Rondo for just the 15th time in his career and each of those games have come in the last month and a half. On Wednesday, they and Jerryd Bayless stopped the C’s five-game losing streak. In that 115-104 victory, Rondo connected with Green on some highlight plays.
This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I know it is early, but there are a couple of impressive streaks that Green has going on right now. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 20 consecutive games, the longest streak of his career. When he faces the Pacers, Green will be looking to accomplish another feat for the first time as an NBA player. He hopes to put up at least 17 points in his sixth consecutive game.
There has been odd symmetry with regard to Green’s scoring recently: he has gone for 17, 21, 29, 21 and 17 points in his last five games. In the middle contest of that five-game stretch, he turned on his “driving-to-the-hoop” switch. Without Rondo, Green attempted a career-high 18 free throws. The last time a Celtic had more trips to the line in a single game was during the 2007-08 season (Paul Pierce).
The question then becomes the following: is Green going to be able to continue playing this many minutes for the remaining 23 games? He has already traveled 133 miles this season on the court, which ranks in the top 30 in the NBA. It sure would be great for the chemistry between Rondo and Green if they are on the court together for the bulk of the rest of the 2013-14 season.