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By The Numbers: Is This Jeff Green’s Time to Shine?

 

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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.

For more Celtics coverage and statistics, follow CelticsHub and Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • hax

    Kind of hard to get that combo going with tankapalooza sitting Rondo every other game.

  • trashandsend

    Agreed: Green’s a better second banana than top banana, especially when the latter’s Rondo, who sets him up well. Whether Rondo has the ability to make Green a more consistently better player, one who takes the bumps to fight for rebounds and set picks and play crip rotational defense, remains to be seen. That’s because Green’s primary problems seem mental and temperamental–staying focused, overcoming his tendency to loaf around the edges on offense and dally on defense. If he were a kid playing in middl or high school, a doctor might diagnose ADD and prescribe Ritalin. Rondo plus Ritalin might eliminate, or at least reduce, the spaciness.

    Just a guess, but unless something’s done to keep his focus and intensity consistently high, Green becomes a potential big scorer who regularly disappears, sometimes for whole games, more often unpredictably within games, and so can’t be counted on to play well regularly–i.e. worth less than 9M and unlikely a part of a strong-and-steady team going forward.

  • Lex

    Jeff’s strengths are going to the basket and finishing. He’s not Paul Pierce, never will be. He won’t give us a bucket whenever we’re desperate. With that being said, Jeff Green is a fine player to have. I’d like to see him play with Rondo, Sullinger, Bradley, and a decent center (sorry Hump, you’re a PF in my book). I’m sure he’s capable of being a great complementary player.

  • hax
  • hax

    Article prevails. JG8 dropped 27 against the league’s best defense and best defender.
    Celtics lose 102-97.

  • check12check

    now I feel like I have been too hard on Jeff. Just look at that face. how can you dislike that guy?

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