Making the Case for Jeff Green as the Boston Celtics' MVP

By Sean McKenney
Jeff Green guards LeBron James
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

No, that’s not supposed to say Rajon Rondo. This year, the most valuable player for the Boston Celtics is going to be Jeff Green.

However, before an effective discussion can be had about what constitutes an MVP-caliber player, the idea of the MVP must be broken down. MVP, of course, stands for most valuable player. However, in today’s NBA, it is often confused with the best player on the team/league.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of MVPs have been their team’s best player. LeBron James is undeniably the best player on the Miami Heat. I can’t see Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler convincing anyone they are better than Derrick Rose either. However, Green garnering such an honor does not require him to be the best player in Boston, only the most valuable.

The way things are shaping up, it’s going to be a tumultuous season in Boston. Rondo won’t be back until February at the earliest, and there is no telling what Brad Stevens will do with his newly-acquired youthful roster. The carousel of 2-guards floating about will make things hard on Avery Bradley, and Jared Sullinger may not be playing to his fullest abilities since he’s returning from a back injury.

Essentially, some stability and consistency would go a long way for the Celtics.

Green may be the only player in a Celtics uniform that can provide consistent, dependable play while holding down the green and white fort until Rondo is fully recovered. Upon viewing the rest of the Celtics’ roster, one must realize Green is the only man for the job.

Sadly enough, perhaps no one in all of professional basketball has gotten to see Green play to his full potential. Despite the flashes of brilliance he showed coming off the bench for Paul Pierce and a few fun playoff moments, Green’s ceiling and potential remains an enigma.

Last season, Green averaged 12 points on .467 shooting from the field. While these are hardly lovely numbers by any means, consider his circumstances. Not only was Green recovering from intensive heart surgery, but he had to come off the bench for Pierce, a player whom Green would spend the entire year playing second fiddle to.

On top of that, Green was never given a set role on the team. While he never looked lost, it never seemed as though he had the “green light” to do what he had to.

With Green as the closest thing to a star the Celtics will have until Rondo returns, he should almost definitely get it this season. Although the previously mentioned stats would be mediocre at best for a starting forward, they aren’t too bad for an athletic sixth man facing the adversity Green did.

This season, don’t be surprised to see Green average 20 and five, and don’t think he will slow down when Rondo returns either. If anything, the paring with another young, scoring, underrated defender should step up his game.

While no one may think Green is the best player in the NBA or even on the Celtics, he will prove to be the most valuable man in Boston this year.

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