Without Rajon Rondo available due to his recovery from a torn ACL, the Boston Celtics entered the 2013-14 NBA season essentially as a starless team. Though that doesn’t bode well for their fortunes while Rondo is on the sidelines, it also offers the opportunity for role players and young guys to try and take the torch and step up with star-caliber play.
Prior to the start of the season, the most likely candidate to step up seemed to be sixth-year wing Jeff Green. In his first full season with Boston last year, Green became an incredibly effective role player and, as has been the case over his career, showed some flashes of brilliant elite level performance. With Boston needing players to step up, Green clearly has the talent to do so and, subsequently, was always going to have eyes on him this season.
Through the Celtics first 16 games of the season, though, Green hasn’t been the star of this team. In fact, he’s simply continued being an effective role player while guys like Jordan Crawford have taken their games to the next level.
Over the start of this season, Green has averaged 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.4 steals in 33.2 minutes per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from three. His raw numbers are improved from last year, but that’s only because he’s playing six more minutes per game. In actuality, his per-36 minute production this year is nearly identical to what it was last season.
It’s hard to fault a guy for being an effective role player in this league, but it’s also hard to not be disappointed in what Green has shown this season. In terms of the ability and talent to be an upper-tier player in this league, it’s there with Green. Given how he’s performed and not taken his game to another level, though, it seems as if Green is going to be this type of player and nothing more.