The Boston Celtics had a serious case of bad luck last season. First Jeff Green the man that was being counted on to help ease the burden of scoring on the starters and provide an athletic diminution the offense suffered a season ending heart condition. If that injury was not tough enough to swallow alone, Boston suffered another bitter pill as the man that took over as the starting center from the perpetually injured Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Wilcox also suffered a season ending heart condition. However, Boston’s bad luck could yield a huge reward this season as these two men have already made it clear that they will be playing with a lot more purpose this season.
The knocks on Jeff Green have always been about between his ears. The talent to be a dominant NBA player is clearly evident. Green has solid size, great athleticism, can run the floor like a gazelle, score in the paint with great post moves, has a decent mid to long range shot, and can rebound fairly well. There is a reason that Seattle had Boston select him with the fifth overall pick in 2007 as part of the Ray Allen deal. Green did have some solid seasons in OKC as their third scoring option as he averaged over fifteen points a game. The problem is everyone that watched him and knew Green’s talent level knew that he could just be a more impact full player. The problem was Green just did not seem to have the fire or will to be impose his will needed to unlock his potential.
If anything is going to change Green’s mentality, the near life threatening experience of this heart ailment is that wake up moment. Green could have lost his life and that is the most serious part of it. Despite the fact that he survived that did not guarantee that he would be able to step on the court. This experience should cause him to cherish the ability to step on the floor with that god given ability that he has. This means Green should finally have new focus on becoming the best that he could be on the floor and stop wasting precious time that might not be there. I look for Green to be a beast trying to get the most out of every drop of talent his body has now that he knows just how precious life and his basketball career are. Gone should be the Green looking timid and confused. Green knows his role and knows that he is being counted on to make an impact on a contending team and with all the new found motivation should thrive. This is why Celtics President Danny Ainge had zero problems gambling on Green with a nine million dollar a year deal.
Chris Wilcox is in the same boat. Effort or lack of an ability to get the most out of his skills was never an issue with Wilcox. Wilcox played hard and earned both minutes and a starting role with this team through those trademarks. Wilcox already was a solid rebounder and defender that hustled on offense. Wilcox also started to show a real ability to run the floor with Rajon Rondo and finish at the basket. Imagine his play now that he almost lost everything. Wilcox could play even harder and thus Boston could really have themselves a solid backup center on the roster. Wilcox playing for the veteran minimum could be the steal of NBA free agency.
The bottom line is Boston was unlucky last season. However, they could more than make up for it this season with two guys that could have a huge impact for them playing to the maximum of their abilities. This means plan on Boston making noise in the East this year. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!