How Will the Loss of Jeff Green Impact the Boston Celtics and Their Title Hopes?

Andrew BockCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Jeff Green #8 of the Boston Celtics stands on the court during the game with the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on February 26, 2011  in Los Angeles, California.  The Celtics won 99-92.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The loss of Jeff Green to the Boston Celtics is a significant one, but not one that will derail the team’s shot at another championship.  Still, Green was thought to be a vital component off of the bench this year for the C’s, but an aortic aneurism has knocked the versatile forward out for the season.

Assuming his surgery in January goes well, it is believed that Green will be in the Celtics' plans next season, but for now, the Celtics are going to have to rework their planned rotation to accommodate the loss of No. 8.

Green’s contract has been voided by the Celtics, which means the team won’t have to eat the money he was owed for the 2012 season, and will be able to sign another player, but since the Celtics are over the cap even without Green, they can only afford a veteran-minimum player. 

Unfortunately, this late in free agency, and the salary cap issue, the Celtics won’t be making any sort of splash by signing a big name in the coming days.  Expect the return of James Posey or Leon Powe to be the most significant news you’ll hear about on this matter.

Sure, Allen Iverson is out there, Gilbert Arenas too, but this close to the start of the regular season it doesn’t make sense for Boston to turn their training camp into a spectacle.

If nothing pans out in free agency, the Celtics have enough bodies on their roster to pitch in for Green.  Guys like Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic would have increased roles, while rookie JaJuan Johnson could also be in line for more minutes if Brandon Bass slides to small forward at times.

Daniels is familiar with the Celtics offense, so he should be thought of to be the player most ready to fill in for Green.

Pavlovic is familiar with the system too, but he barely played after being acquired last season, so it’s not yet known how he would function if given heavy minutes.  Chances are we will find out though.

While the loss of Green will have the team scrambling to think up new schemes, the Celtics should be able to move forward without too much trouble.  The team may appear sluggish at first, but should hit its stride by the 10th game of the season.

The significance of Green’s injury centers around providing bench depth, but the Celtics starting lineup is still fully intact.  They will just have to be faced with the added challenge of staying healthy all season long.  For now, it’s going according to plan, but the C’s are only one preseason game into the season thus far.

However the scenario resolves itself, the loss of Green shouldn’t demolish the Celtics' chances at winning another NBA championship.