Jeff Green said from a Friday afternoon community service day that he is “fully recovered, part of the team, cleared for everything.”
The news is a relief to Celtics fans who are hoping that the 26 year old combo forward from Georgetown can provide some lift off the bench and perimeter defense, both of which the Celtics can benefit immensely from.
Adding a healthy Green to a perimeter defense that will include Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee, two premier defenders, will enable the C’s to cut down on penetration from opposing swingmen. For all Paul Pierce is, he is no longer much of a defender, and Jason Terry’s defense is solid enough, but not on the level of youngsters Lee & Bradley.
That’s where Jeff Green comes in. The 5th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, Green spent three-and-a-half seasons in Oklahoma City before being shipped to the Celtics in exchange for big man Kendrick Perkins. The move sent waves through the Celtics organization, and co-captain Kevin Garnett expressed extreme disapproval of the trade.
The Celtics are hoping that a healthy Green erases KG’s doubts and solidifies the front court. Green was impressed by Danny Ainge’s commitment towards him, even after voiding his contract following the discovery of the aortic aneurysm.
The surgery was said to be routine, but the Celtics’ caution is understandable, given what happened to Reggie Lewis in 1993. Lewis, an All-Star at the time, had experienced heart problems for months leading up to his fatal collapse on the court.
Green said the biggest thing is just “getting into a groove, getting into a rhythm,” adding that “That stuff will come.”