When Kevin Garnett started to miss time due to a slew of injuries and illnesses last season reserve forward Jeff Green was thrust into the starting lineup. The production of the fifth year player out of Georgetown University throughout the rest of the team’s 2012-2013 campaign was encouraging albeit the Celtics’ first time failing to reach the second round of the playoffs since 2007. Green filled his temporary role by smashing his season averages almost every night and eventually leading the team in scoring through the playoffs averaging nearly 20 points per game. Much has changed in Boston since Jeff Green’s spark and the Celtics early departure from the playoffs. Head Coach Doc Rivers jumped ship and headed west to join the Clippers and the Celtics’ most tenured players in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were unloaded in a deal that sent them to Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets. In between talk of the Celtics tanking next season for a higher lottery pick (which is as preposterous a concept as it is likely that the Celtics’ could land the first pick in the draft lottery anyway) the general consensus is that the weight of the franchise lies on the shoulders of three time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo 2nd team All-NBA defense shooting guard Avery Bradley and revitalized forward Jeff Green. Unless Rajon Rondo suffers a major setback from last season’s ACL injury it is a sure bet that he can pick up similarly to where he left off: continuing to play relentless defense and threading passes through the tightest of windows to rack up absurd assist numbers. There’s no reason to think that Bradley is going anywhere but up. He’s one of the league’s most tenacious on-ball defenders and being over a year removed from dual shoulder surgery we can assume that his offensive production has nowhere to go but up. Jeff Green however has an opportunity to have a special – and unpredictable – season. Throughout much of his first full season in Boston Green seemed to go missing during games while coming off of the bench. Perhaps it was due to recovering from a life season heart surgery which doctors claim takes a year to fully recover from. That prediction seemed to hold validity as Green took off in the later part of the season. Two games in particular down the stretch of the regular season showed what he was capable of and might have given a sneak peak as to what is to come for Green. In the Celtics’ four-game-losing-streak-snapping win over the Cavaliers in late March Jeff Green was trusted with the ball down one with two seconds to go. He responded driving to the hoop and laying it in as time expired to get the very much needed victory; all while scoring fifteen points grabbing seven rebounds and tallying five assists. Then Head Coach Doc Rivers is notorious for drawing up plays at the end of games and his decision to get Jeff Green – not Paul Pierce – the ball at the top of the key proved vital. However what Green did by recognizing a seam to his right while staying conscious of the clock and powering through defenders to lay the ball in as time expired was special. It takes a player with not only great intangibles like awareness but also size and strength to get to the hoop in a matter of a second.
Celtics Jeff Green Is Poised For A Breakthrough Season
Hardwood Houdini | Aug 1