CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

View previous topic View next topic Go down

CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by 112288 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

WEEI

By Dan Guttenplan

A technical foul was the perfect punctuation to Jeff Green’s dunk on Al Jefferson Wednesday night – not because Green deserved the penalty, but because the stoppage in play provided the opportunity for Celtics fans to digest what they had just seen.

Up to that point this season, Green had been a bust. His contract seemed like an albatross of Carl Crawford proportions. With his four-year, $32 million deal, Green is the fourth-highest-paid player on the team, behind only Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. The problem is Green is playing like the seventh- or eighth-best player on the team, depending on where you rank Jason Terry, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee.

Thursday night failed to offer any additional clarity to Green’s situation, with the forward scoring five points in 25 minutes during the Celtics’ 102-97 loss to the Nets in Brooklyn. It was a performance that made Wednesday’s heroics seem like an aberration.

Even after Green’s 16-point contribution in the win over Utah, he ranked sixth on the team in scoring (8.8 points per game) and seventh in minutes (21.6 per game). At best, he’s marginally overpaid when you consider Bass and Terry will earn $6.5 million and $5 million this year, respectively. At worst, he’s Danny Ainge‘s recurring mistake, first as the centerpiece of the trade that cost the Celtics Kendrick Perkins, and then as a $32 million version of Rashard Lewis.

The dunk of the season so far gave us a chance to see what Ainge saw in Green all along. The 6-foot-9 forward can flush on Al Jefferson in traffic. He can score 16 points in the flow of the game without having a single play run for him. And evidently, his teammates love him.

After Green threw it down on Jefferson, the ensuing scene seemed reminiscent of an And1 Mixtape Tour. Green didn’t deserve a technical; he almost seemed to be staring down Al Jefferson to make sure he did, in fact, dunk on an All-Star center. But perhaps Green’s teammates deserved the technical. Garnett followed Green around the court, cursing in his ear and pushing him in the chest. Other teammates took turns pushing Green, who typically shies away from that kind of contact.

The celebration seemed to stem from the fact that the Celtics need THAT Jeff Green. Garnett’s been saying it, and he’s right. Green needs to be meaner, more aggressive. He needs to dish out more NBA fouls, and he needs to get down low in the paint when Garnett is on the bench.


Too many times in the opening two weeks of the season Green almost seemed tuned out on offense. He’d come off the bench with the second unit, and instead of taking over, he’d hide in the corners waiting for a kick-out pass. It seemed to be the worst place to set up for a 6-foot-9, athletic forward who has shot 33 percent from 3-point land for his career. The Celtics aren’t paying Green $32 million to be Rashard Lewis. They’re paying him to be the guy who pushed James Harden out of the starting lineup in Oklahoma City.

Green has a variety of excuses for his slow start. For one, he missed all of last season after undergoing heart surgery, so he can be forgiven for taking some extra time to get into the flow of the game. He’s been out of position often on defense, which is to be expected of someone who is still grasping the defensive schemes. He’s appeared less than confident on offense, which is also to be expected when you consider he seems miscast — spending much of his time waiting for passes in the corners, even though he’s hardly Ray Allen. Still, Green appeared perfectly comfortable playing against lesser opponents in the preseason, when he led the Celtics in scoring and minutes.

But here’s another factor: Doc Rivers could do a better job of making Green comfortable. For one, Green was a starter for his entire career in Oklahoma City. Of the 209 games he played for the Thunder, he started all 209. In three seasons, he averaged 16.5, 15.1 and 15.2 points per season, respectively. He also grabbed between 5.6 and 6.7 rebounds per game each season, never playing less than 36.8 minutes per night. Green is a starter, he has been most of his career. Bench players typically possess one specific trait, whether it be as a scorer (Terry), a defensive stopper (Tony Allen), a big body (Chris Wilcox) or a 3-point shooter (Eddie House). Green doesn’t do one thing particularly well, he does everything pretty well.

Looking at the plus-minus statistics for the Celtics players on 82games.com, Green ranks eighth on the team behind Rondo, Garnett, Terry, Pierce, Bass, Wilcox and Sullinger. At the moment, Green doesn’t have a role. He jogs up the court on offense and finds a corner. On defense, he struggles with rotations and physicality. His dunk over Jefferson gave us a glimpse that he is capable of more.

When all is said and done this season, the Celtics will need Green. First, they’ll need him in the regular season to help limit the minutes and workloads of Garnett and Pierce. At the moment, Pierce is averaging 34.6 minutes per night, and Garnett is at 30.1. In a perfect world, they’d both average four fewer minutes per night. In the playoffs, the Celtics will undoubtedly need Green as another competitive body to match up against the LeBrons, Carmelos and Danny Grangers of the world for short stretches during seven-game series.

It’s time for carve out more minutes – and more of a role – for Green. Regardless of whether that happens or not, Green will be the fourth-highest-paid player on the team at the end of the season. For the Celtics to go where they want to go, Green will have to be the fourth-best player on the team.

112288

112288

Posts: 4663
Join date: 2009-10-16

Back to top Go down

Re: CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by sam on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:55 am

112288,

I don't really see a lot of mystery concerning Green.

• In preseason, he trained for the upcoming season by being a featured Celtics performer. Only Rondo had very slightly more floor time (7/10 of a minute per game) than Jeff). During the season, he's been cast in a different role. Frankly, I don't understand exactly what that role is (except I know it's off the bench), and I guess he's just been expected to figure it out. The only goal I've heard associated with Jeff involves improved rebounding, and he currently ranks fourth among the rotation Celtics in rebounds per 36 minutes on the floor.

• Jeff's the kind of player who benefits more by being set up than by trying to create his own shot. And, when Jeff has played with Rondo (about 55 minutes so far this season according to 82games), teammates who are more integral parts of the offense have often been included in the five-man combinations. Just four examples of whom Green has played with in combination with Rondo:

40 minutes with Bass
31 minutes with Pierce
30 minutes with Terry
22 minutes with KG

Is it any wonder that Rondo will distribute the rock to these four offensively minded guys in preference to Green?

• Jeff pretty much had things going his way in the preseason, and he responded in a major way. During the season, he's been cast in a completely different role which he's been left to figure out as he goes along. I hope Doc will set some guidelines for Jeff's role sooner rather than later.

Sam

sam
Admin

Posts: 18038
Join date: 2009-10-10

http://samcelt.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by 112288 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:55 am

Sam,

Where do you think his talent lies? His shooting ability, his ability to slash to the basket, rebounding.....what?

For the life of me he could be tops in all 3 areas.... the talent is there....but.

Maybe it's Doc's system where you find players who can play but not in a particular system as we have in Boston.

Hope this can be worked out soon as his time and position are costing us points on the board.

112288

112288

Posts: 4663
Join date: 2009-10-16

Back to top Go down

Re: CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by beat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:06 pm

Has he really had enough time??

I mean really he had heart surgery a year ago.
What are we 10 game in now. Might take 20 more or so for him to even begin to gel.

I think we need to be a bit patient for now.

beat

beat

Posts: 5804
Join date: 2009-10-13
Age: 61

Back to top Go down

Re: CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by sam on Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:39 pm

112288,

During the exhibition season, he displayed enough talent in all areas to convince me he is multi-talented. My theory is that, once a player has proven he has a certain talent (almost regardless of the competition), that talent does not mysteriously desert him. I believe it's just a matter of finding him a role that will place him in a position to succeed and will meet the needs of whatever combination he's playing with. It could be different roles in different situations.

Slashing

He's well equipped to work down low against shorter opponents, and he has scored from that position on a number of jukes and slashes to the hole. He has also slashed from the perimeter, producing a variety of authoritative jams in the process. He may be the most accomplished slasher on the team now that Pierce is having more difficulty slashing than shooting from the perimeter and the elbow. So slashing would be one of his talents on which I'd capitalize.

Many of his trips to the hoop have been of the free-lance variety—either out of the pivot or from the perimeter. I'd work on setting up more plays to get him to the hoop, especially when Rondo's in the game with him, so that Jeff doesn't have to do all the work himself. When Jeff's playing with KG, I'd run pick-and-rolls off some of Jeff's drives, giving Jeff the option of drawing a double and lobbing very short passes to Kevin near the rim.

Perimeter

Jeff has a pretty good perimeter game. His lifetime percentage from behind the arc is 33.7%, and he's hitting threes at a 36.4% this season. But too often I see him just standing in the corner, as though he were hoping his man will leave him to double on another Celtic. I'd move Jeff around the perimeter, and I'd mix it up by sometimes having him curl out of the pivot to the perimeter, with a big setting a pick to help him out. Jeff's also pretty good at upfaking a defender at the arc and then, as the defender flies by, having the option of shooting a three or (see above) slashing to the hoop.

Transition Offense and Defensive Rebounding

I haven't even mentioned his value in transition and also in rebounding. On the defensive end, I'd tell him to base his moves on his position on the floor. If he's inside the foul line when an opponent's shot goes up, he should crash the boards. If he's out farther, he should run a lane. Even if he has crashed the board, he's fast enough to be an effective trailer if the Celtics get the rebound and start a break.

Transition Defense and Offensive Rebounding

Jeff seems to be one Celtic whose transition defense is at least as good as (maybe better than) his halfcourt defense. When he's within eight feet of the offensive hoop and a Celtics shot goes up, I'd have him go to the offensive board rather than falling back immediately on defense because I believe he has the speed to recover and do an effective job of (1) catching his defensive assignment or (2) catching up with a slower opponent while another Celtics switches to Jeff's man.

In General

I'm sure Doc could think of more ways than I could to utilize Jeff's multiple offensive talents. But, in general, I'd focus on (1) mixing up his outside and inside games, (2) moving him around more, and (3) running more set plays for him to free him from having to create his own shot so often, and above all (4) giving Jeff better role definition. One potential downside of having so many talents is that, while the player is considering which talent to employ, the opportunity can disappear.

Giving Jeff a few guidelines on what to do in each circumstance could make the game simpler for him. Benefiting from a combination of better role clarity and increasing continuity with the Celtics, Jeff should become increasingly able to let his instincts dictate his actions. If that can be accomplished, his multi-faceted talents could make him one of the most versatile, multiple-position Celtics since the days of Reggie Lewis, Kevin McHale, John Havlicek and Frank Ramsey. (And, for those who might be tempted to interpret this as a prediction or a comparison of Jeff with those specific players, please don't waste your fingers on a response.)

Sam

sam
Admin

Posts: 18038
Join date: 2009-10-10

http://samcelt.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Re: CELTICS HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY HAVE WITH JEFF GREEN

Post by cowens/oldschool on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:18 am

Sam great post you said it all, one thing I wonder, is it our system of sharing the ball, Jeff not getting enough minutes/opportunities to dominate the ball and get shots or is it the system and Rondo? Rondo will get him the ball, but like a great QB he also takes what the defense gives him and will get it to whoever is open and in best position to further score in best position. Sometimes I wonder how come he can't put up bigger numbers like a Paul Millsap or Batum, its got to be his role, he won't get that many chances to get those looks/shots that Millsap or Batum get. Either way still think he will get better overall as season keeps on going, the guy really can do so many things well, let him keep on building his game, maybe he'll peak in his thirties like Havlicek when alot of others left and he had to do more.

cowens/oldschool

Posts: 6794
Join date: 2009-10-18

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum