When the Boston Celtics re-signed Jeff Green this past offseason, speculation began to mount surrounding Green's upside as a future face of the franchise. Through the Celtics' first 15 games, however, Green has posted averages of just 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game on 40.0 percent shooting from the floor.
With the team struggling as an offensive unit, the Celtics need Green to recover from this slow start as soon as possible. Green must become their super-sub to cure their offensive woes.
If he is incapable of doing so, hope may be lost in Beantown.
According to a report via ESPN Boston, head coach Doc Rivers spoke about Green's early struggles with Boston sports radio station WEEI. Rivers voiced his disappointment with Green's inconsistency, although he did not place the blame entirely on the player.
Instead, Rivers cited the need for both Green and the team's coaching staff to improve.
“I know he’s better and I know he can be better,” Rivers said Thursday morning in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “It’s gotta be some of what we’re doing and then some of what he’s doing. I have to figure out whatever we’re not doing as a staff and team right, we gotta fix that and then whatever Jeff’s not doing he’s got to fix that.“
One of the reasons that Rivers has established himself as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history is just this. Rarely, if ever, will Rivers throw one of his players under the bus.
Instead, Rivers will acknowledge the player's shortcomings and look to himself to make the proper adjustments to accommodate said athlete. In this case, however, Green must take the initiative to improve.
Before it's too late.
The Green Go as Green Goes
The Boston Celtics are only as strong as their colors show. Forgive my play on words, but I meant to say that the Green will only go as Green goes.
Still confused? Let's break it down in more understandable terms.
Jeff Green will be the key to both victory and lackluster results.
Thus far this season, the Boston Celtics are 4-1 in games in which Green scores at least 10 points. They're 4-6 when he fails to, however, which displays one important fact about this Celtics ball club.
Furthermore, Green is averaging 9.9 points per game during Boston victories. That number takes a nose dive to 5.1 points per contest in games in which the Celtics lose.
When Green is off, Boston's second unit falters with him. When he's on, the second unit will flourish and the Celtics will achieve victory.
An analogy that will be applicable to the remainder of the season.
Considering Green has a career average of 1.3 offensive rebounds per game, one would be inclined to believe that the former Georgetown Hoya is of minimal help in said area. The fact of the matter is, the Celtics are averaging 2.3 more offensive rebounds per 48 minutes with him on the court than without him.
8.6 per 48 with Green and 6.0 without.
Considering the Celtics are in the midst of their fourth consecutive season as one of the worst two offensive rebounding teams in the league, they could use all the help they can get. Which is exactly why Green must step it up with his consistency.
Although he has not contributed on the offensive glass in the sense of individual production, Green has spaced the floor enough for bigs to attack the boards. Due to Green's versatility in being able to play both forward positions, opponents must now spread themselves out to defend the Boston offense.
Even if the improvement is minimal, any increase in production on the offensive boards should be welcomed in Boston. That is, if Green can contribute more consistently.
Performing Better Without Him
Jeff Green's slash line of .400/.250/.722 is certainly underwhelming. His averages of 7.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 0.4 steals per game only further mount the disappointment surrounding his play thus far.
The truth of the matter is, Green's individual statistics are far less important than the impact he's having on the team as a whole.
When Green is on the floor, the Celtics are scoring an average of 95.7 points per 48 minutes. When he is on the bench, however, they're scoring 97.8 per 48.
It gets worse defensively.
The Celtics are allowing 101.8 points per 48 minutes with Green on the floor, while letting up 95.7 while he's on the bench. That comes with a defensive rating of 107.5 with Green and 100.4 without him.
In other words, Green has been more hurtful than helpful for the Celtics thus far. His upside suggests he could be the long-term replacement to franchise mainstay Paul Pierce, but patience is a virtue for coach Rivers.
The question is, how long can the Celtics wait before it's too late? Contrary to popular belief, their time is running out.
Green needs to step up while coming off of the bench to cure the Celtics' woes. Starting now.