The Boston Celtics are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference, and have been plagued by numerous injuries throughout the season. With star point guard Rajon Rondo and rookie Jared Sullinger out for the year, the Celtics have seemed to turn to their talented bench to provide a much needed spark. The most relied on has been Jeff Green.
The 26-year old out of George Town has seen the ups and down of an NBA career. After having off season heart surgery which caused Green to miss his entire 2011-2012 campaign, he has most recently been back with a vengeance.
Over his last ten games, Green has averaged 14.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG and has shot .520 from the field. With his highlight reel dunks and his patented “one dribble drive”, there has been a lot of hype surrounding this young player. Many have gone off on a whim to say that Green deserves a starting shot at stardom over captain Paul Pierce.
Though the 35-year old Pierce has recently admitted to playing with a pinched nerve in his neck, he has still been able to post an acceptable 18.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.4 APG and shoot .413 from the field. Starting Green would give Pierce limited playing time to help preserve his body for the playoffs, but it might not work out rotation-wise with guards Jason Terry, Terrence Williams, and the newly acquired Jordan Crawford.
The much-anticipated year for Green started off weak In the month of December, as he averaged a mere 8.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG and shot .421 from the field. Things have started to pick up in the month of February, as he has averaged 15.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG and has shot .517 from the field. Green has looked like he has fit in quite nicely in the league, but is it all just a fluke?
Just because Green had a good month of basketball, does not mean that he should be given the reins to the small forward position. Remember, he is only averaging 10.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG and is shooting .448 from the field.
Though these are decent numbers, starting the developing Green and giving him more minutes could result in another down grade and a hit to his re-building confidence, much like the cold streak we saw in the beginning of the season. So, would starting Green really be the answer for a team looking to slide into the postseason?
Statistics say no. Green currently may have momentum on his side, but he hasn’t proven to put up these type of numbers night in and night out. He has seen more playing time, but can not be foolishly mistaken for a top-caliber small forward.
As hype starts to die down, expect Green to continue his forward progress as the Celtics hope to continually add fuel to the “Green Machine”.