What is Wrong with Boston Celtics' Jeff Green?

By Michael LeDuc
Jeff Green
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

In the young NBA season, Jeff Green continues to raise questions about the kind of player he is. The Boston Celtics forward has struggled to find consistency every game. Through 12 games he has averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, but in the last two games he has scored a dismal six points and has taken only 13 shots. Yet, there have been games in which he is able to score at will and obliterate opposing defenses. His performances either give fans hope that this guy is a future star or cause fans to shake their heads and completely give up on him. This has become a frustrating issue among Celtics fans and there are reasons for his poor overall play.


Many felt that this was the big year for Jeff Green. Since he was obviously the most skilled player on Celtics’ roster and this is essentially his team until Rajon Rondo comes back, people thought that Green would break out and become a 20-points and 10-rebounds kind of player. Many alleged that he would become a “superstar.” He certainly has the skill and capability. I, myself, assumed that since he was the first option on this team that he would put up big numbers. The expectations were simply too high for Green. It is wrong to think that this 27 year old can emerge into a superstar. On the other hand, there are people who also think he is a complete fluke. That is also a wrong perception of Green. He is not superstar and he is not fluke. He is what he is— a second or third option. Some games he is able to put on a show and other games he completely disappears. His poor performances do not take away from the skill that he possesses. The talent is there. He has good ball-handling, athleticism, and the capability to get to the rim and finish or hit an open three. He has even hit many clutch shots in his career. Green just does not have the mentality or aggressiveness that it takes to get to that next step. Therefore, he is a second option at best and the consistency will not be there.

Absence of Rajon Rondo

Rondo hurts Green’s performance. There is no one on the Celtics that can feed the ball to him right now. If Rondo was healthy he’d be able to put Green in positions to score more often. Green’s trademark isn’t creating his own shot which is why Rondo would be very beneficial for him. I am not trying to make excuses for Green. He still needs to develop a drive and motivation to score and be aggressive.

Supporting Cast

In order for Green to excel he needs much better players to surround him game after game. Again, he’s a second option at best, so he needs that “go-to guy” to be at his side when the inconsistencies get the better of him. With the Oklahoma City Thunder he had Kevin Durant. Because he was playing with a “superstar,” Green was very effective and scored 15 to 16 points a game to complement Durant. Last year, the “go-to guys” on the Celtics were Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Green was usually successful when Pierce or KG were distracting the opposing defense. He still struggled with consistency even as a third option, but he was getting better. Any team in the league would love to have him as their second or third option.

This is why it is important that the Celtics obtain a lottery pick. There are many potential “stars” in the 2014 draft that could possibly be a first option. If the Celtics were able to draft one of those players then Green would be more effective and be able to be that solid complementary scorer.

Being a second or third option is not necessarily bad. He is a great complementary player. However, in this situation it is the problem. He is forced to be a first option on this Celtic team, and he is not able to produce on a consistent basis. That doesn’t excuse his recent struggles; he still needs to be more aggressive, want the ball in his hands, and have a drive to put the ball in the basket. Nonetheless, that is mainly what is wrong with Jeff Green.

Michael LeDuc is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, like his Facebook page, and add him on Google.

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