Boston Celtics: Why Doc Rivers Needs to Give Jeff Green the Ball
After his breakout performance in the heartbreaking 105-103 loss to the Miami Heat, it started to look like the Jeff Green era was now upon the Boston Celtics. Green displayed a smooth and consistent effort contributing 43 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, two steals in 40 minutes played.
In Wednesday’s ugly 87-86 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Celtics unfortunately referred back to their old game plan of letting Paul Pierce play hero ball in the clutch. Needless to say, Pierce missed his last three shots as well as fouled Ryan Anderson on a 3-point attempt, even if the call itself was questionable.
In the final minute, with a chance to go up by at least three, the ball was once again in the wily veterans hands. He failed to make any attempts at getting his teammates open and instead took a low percentage fall-away from the elbow after half a dozen cluttered and off-balanced spin-moves. It was a flat, ugly, and worthless shot.
Meanwhile, the guy who exploded two days before and gave some new hope to this anemic and seemingly empty Celtics offense played just a mere 26 minutes as opposed to Pierce’s 33. Pierce did have 28 points, but shot just 9-17 and also has 10 turnovers in his last two games.
It’s slowly gotten to the point now where the Celtics are living and dying by Pierce. But the question remains … why?
Green needs to get into rhythm; he needs to get shots, and he needs to be a hundred times more involved. Tonight, he got only eight shots as opposed to the 21 he got against Miami.
What’s the philosophy in this? It looks as if Doc Rivers is once again being loyal to a fault to the captain. He is limiting Green’s development (which is much more important at this point) and letting Pierce shoot the Celtics out of games against miserable teams like the Pelicans.
The Celtics offense should be going through Green. The Pierce isolation is a thing of the past, and Pierce in the clutch hardly exists anymore. It’s time to try something different. Now after a two-game skid, the Celtics hang alone in the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, a situation that could have easily been avoided.
How can a 35-year old be playing more minutes than a 27-year old? The question is starting to become maddening as to why Rivers isn’t letting Green develop … even after a career game.
It’s Green who’s going to be the future of the Celtics. It’s Green who’s going to cover LeBron James come playoff time. It’s Green who is going to be the guy. Why delay it any longer?
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint