One of the most recent takeaways from the Boston Celtics pre-season has been the play of Jeff Green. Green looks like a completely different player from the one the team acquired a few years ago from the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is being much more aggressive, driving to the hoop consistently and taking the outside shot when available. He played 34 minutes last night in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers and had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. What was even more interesting about the performance was that he started at the shooting guard position.
I don’t think we should read too much into the move. Head coach Doc Rivers has always changed up his lineups in the pre-season as it really is just an experimental phase before the season gets started on October 30th as the team travels to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in the season opener. I don’t think it makes much sense at all to have Green starting at the two position.
The team has enough depth now with the recent signing of Leandro Barbosa, and Green will really help out scoring in the second unit, which has been a big problem for the Celtics these past few seasons. He will also need to back up Paul Pierce as there isn’t a true back up small forward on the current roster. Kris Joseph has played well in spurts this pre-season, but he does not appear ready to crack an NBA rotation, especially with how deep this current Celtics roster is.
It is encouraging to see Green play so well in the pre-season. He has come a long way since his heart surgery and he is flashing the abilities the team thought it was getting when they made that blockbuster trade with the Thunder. Green offers athleticism and youth, two traits the Celtics desperately need to off-set a veteran roster. The opportunity is there for Green this season and he is hoping to make the most of it.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18