If you were expecting the Boston Celtics to return to the playoffs in the 2013-2014 NBA season, you’re going to be sorely mistaken. After trading away Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry this summer and with Rajon Rondo probably not returning until mid-season, this is going to be a rough year in Beantown.
With the Celtics tanking in the interest of “earning” a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for guys like rookie Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley this season. However, it’s veteran forward Jeff Green that could really shine in Celtic green this year.
After missing the 2011-2012 season with a heart condition, he triumphantly returned last year for the Celtics and ended up submitting a solid year. In 81 games he averaged 12.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals in 27.8 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three.
Green overall was a solid contributor on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he finished the season averaging 0.98 points per possession, the 94th best rate in the league. On the other end of the floor, Green was a good defender, allowing just 0.81 points per possession, the 72 best rate in the league.
However, the big issue with Green, as has been the case over his five NBA seasons, was his inconsistency. On a nightly basis, you never know what Green is going to do. For instance, you would expect players to be better with more rest under their belt. However, in 39 games with just one day of rest, Green averaged 13.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor. Contrarily, in 12 games that he played with two days of rest, Green averaged only 9.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game on 43.8 percent shooting.
Green’s monthly splits also highlight his inconsistency. In November and December, Green shot only 41.7 percent from the field. In the last four months of the season, though, Green shot 49.4 percent from the field. A lot of that is due to the fact that he was getting his legs back underneath him and the fact that he got more of an opportunity late in the season, but that still is an enormous gap in efficiency.
Last year, Green started only 17 games for the Celtics, a number that is sure to rise this season now that Pierce is no longer in Boston. He will have ample opportunity to prove himself in the upcoming season.
When it comes to his physical tools and abilities, Green is a phenomenal talent. He possesses a lethal combination of athleticism, strength and skill. However, he needs to be more consistent in terms of asserting himself every time he touches the floor and not disappearing like he has a tendency to do. If he can get over that hurdle, though, there’s a lot of evidence to support that he will have a good amount of success this season for the Celts.