NTCF faithful reader Steve in Texas recently emailed me asking when I was going to show Jeff Green some love. After Green torched the Suns for 31 points 7 rebounds and 4 assists, I figure there is no better time than now. Jeff Green is the most polarizing figure on the Celtics. There are a group of fans that hate him because he was the get back in the Kendrick Perkins deal. There are fans who don’t have an opinion of him because he is too inconsistent to formulate an opinion on. Then there are fans, like me, who root hard for him to succeed and love it when he does.
Since Green arrived in Boston in February of 2011, I thought he would be the heir apparent to Paul Pierce. But he got off to a slow start in 2011 with the Celtics, missed all of 2012 because of a heart condition, and has been so-so in the 2012-2013 season. Steve in Texas brings up a great point however. Jeff Green came into the league with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was an offensive option behind Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. When he came to Boston he was an option behind Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. He is still behind Pierce, Garnett, and maybe Terry on the offensive end as the team is currently constituted.
If you ask me, it’s pretty unfair for the Celtics fan base to expect Jeff Green to “be the man” when the egos and pecking order indicate a different reality. Much was made about Danny Ainge not pulling the trigger on deals that would send Pierce and Garnett out of town so the Celtics could build for the future. Many of you will say I am wearing green shaded sunglasses, but I believe the Celtics’ future is Jeff Green. Until recently when has Doc Rivers been able to showcase Green?
The first game the Celtics played without Rondo because of his ACL injury, Jeff Green did an admirable job against the best player in the league, LeBron James. He has also shown an uncanny ability to drive to the basket and throw down thunderous dunk after thunderous dunk. His outside shooting has come along rather nicely in recent weeks as well. Even Kobe has to raise an eyebrow when he sees that Green had 31 points on just 14 shots against Phoenix.
Lastly, to those people that hate Jeff Green because we lost Perk to the Thunder; Just stop it. Kendrick Perkins has been terrible for the Thunder. I don’t want to hear the argument that he and Garnett were mean defensively and gave the Celtics and identity. Making mean faces and setting bad picks is not worth $30 million over 4 years. Perkins is averaging 4 points and 5 rebounds in 25 minutes a game for the Thunder. He is ridiculously slow, bad on rotations, and provides 0 offense. Perkins is effectively done. Jeff Green can be and will be productive now and in years to come.
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