AMHERST, NY-We continue to preview the Boston Celtics roster for the 2012-2013 season and today we look at Jeff Green’s outlook for this upcoming season. He was originally drafted by the Celtics in the 2007 NBA Draft out of Georgetown, but was traded on draft night to the former Seattle Supersonics in the deal that brought Ray Allen to Boston. The Sonics then moved to Oklahoma City and Green became a solid player for the Thunder. He was acquired by the Celtics last season in the deal that sent Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder for Green and Nenad Kristic, who is no longer on the team. Unfortunately, Green missed all of last season with a serious heart condition, but was recently cleared to play this year. The team in turn resigned him to a 4 a year, $36 million extension. He will play a number of roles for the team this year and it will be a welcome sign for head coach Doc Rivers to have him back in his rotation. Green also happens to be former teammates with Rivers son Jeremiah from their playing days with the Hoya’s, so you know he has a close relationship with the head coach for a number of years.
Green is quite an interesting player to analyze. He doesn’t necessarily stand out in terms of a particular skill set. Instead, he is very solid in a number of areas while not being great in any certain skill. He has a decent offensive game and really thrives in an up tempo offense, something the Celtics will surely emphasize this season. Green has a solid mid range game and always needs to be guarded from 15-18 feet out. He is a capable three point shooter, but he is very streaky and certainly should not be the team’s primary weapon from that part of the court. He will be a great asset running the floor with point guard Rajon Rondo. He is an athletic player, and being only 25, provides the team with the young legs it needs to keep up with Rondo. He is also a decent defensive player and is capable of guarding positions 2-4 on defense. This does not mean that Green should be guarding the opposing team’s best player on every possession, but if the team needs him to cover LeBron James or Danny Granger for a number of possessions he can more than hold his own. He will provide Paul Pierce a break from covering those guys for the entire game.
Green does not necessarily have any glaring weaknesses. For a guy his size and with his athletic ability, you would prefer him to be a better rebounder than his stats would indicate. He only averages roughly six rebounds a game and for a guy that is 6’9, you would expect more. He does not play the aggressive style of defense that Serge Ibaka or Kenenth Farried plays where they always attack the defensive glass. Green is much more of a help side rebounder and that is okay because Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Jared Sullinger will also help out rebounding. He is more of an on ball defender who typically looks for the outlet that leads to a fast break. Another criticism for Green that is widely opinionated around the league is that his teams typically play better without him on the floor. I have never really understood this concept because the games and plays that I have watched, I witness a guy who is more of a team player and never really plays outside of the offense or defense.
Jeff Green will play an important role on this 2012-2013 Boston Celtics team. He will backup Pierce at the small forward position as well as help out at the 4 spot in smaller lineups. He is still a very young player who will provide the team with nice minutes in a number of roles. Once the playoffs roll around, he will be asked to play some key minutes guarding the likes of James, Carmelo Anthony, and Granger. That is a role that he has embraced throughout his career and it will be great for Celtics fans to see a healthy Green on the floor again this season.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the Boston Celtics homepage on Rant Sports.