Before he could begin his first full season with the Boston Celtics, Jeff Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and had to have season ending surgery on his heart. With Green being a major part of the controversial trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, in some Celtics fans eyes, it made the trade look even worse. For the Celtics, not having Jeff Green on the floor this previous season not only hurt them throughout the year, but it also had questions swirl around Danny Ainge and his decision making.
Now that Jeff Green is supposedly signed, since there really hasn’t been any definitive news on his contract negotiations, it’s all or nothing. It’s time to see if he can have a productive season, and prove to everyone that he is a good fit in Boston and he is suppose to be here.
Without going further into what had happened after the Perkins trade, let’s take a look at how important Jeff Green could be to this team throughout this season, and where we missed him last season.
Off The Court
During the grueling 66 game season, Green had made a few appearances on the Celtics bench, and not only did it show his support, but his presence uplifted the team. The fact that he re-signed with the Celtics, and didn’t try to sign somewhere else, proved to me that he does want to rewrite his history in Boston. Though I wish he would have taken a pay cut, as $9 million a year is a bit too much for my liking.
On The Court
If Green was healthy last season, I really think he would have made the difference. In the Miami Heat series, Paul Pierce was the only real small forward we had, and when he was on the bench Mickael Pietrus was the only replacement, and we all know how that worked out.
The Celtics lacked that player who could score in bunches, and with Green having that ability, it was a blow to not have that sixth man who could come in and supply the team with points off the bench. This year we’ll have Jason Terry, and hopefully Jeff Green can be part of a one-two punch that can put points up while the starters are on the bench.
What it really comes down to is the fact that he is the backup to Pierce. When Green first came to Boston, the Celtics would play him at power forward, and for the life of me I didn’t understand why. He is a small forward, and thats where I think he thrives best. I don’t care if for half of next season he doesn’t produce big numbers, just having him on the court to give Pierce a rest is all they need.
With this year’s roster, a lot of the pressure for Green to score is off his shoulders. All he needs to do is play consistent and produce average numbers. He doesn’t need to be spectacular, just 15-20 minutes of solid basketball will make him a valuable asset.
In conclusion, I wish Jeff Green the best this upcoming season. I want to see him succeed and prove all of us wrong, not just for him, but so that we may at least have some measure of peace on the Kendrick Perkins trade.