The Celtics and Jeff Green: How Is Green Faring?

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 16: Jeff Green #8 of the Boston Celtics grabs a pass as A.J. Price #12 of the Indiana Pacers defends on March 16, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

In the best of all basketball worlds, the mid-season trade between the Thunder and Celtics, in essence a swap of Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins, would be yielding amazing benefits for both sides. The Thunder have certainly enjoyed their nasty makeover, but what of the Celtics? Well, our old friend Mr. Green seems to be confounding them the same way he confounded us.

The Perplexing Jeff Green | CelticsBlog

If you peruse the comments, it is like walking down memory lane. You will see such sentiments as:

  • Green seems so talented!
  • He just needs more minutes!
  • I don't get how Green isn't better.
  • He doesn't really rebound well.
  • Green doesn't play very aggressively.
  • Green plays too passively.
  • Is Green a power forward?
Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated takes a deeper look at the Celtics' situation:


If you take a look at his analysis you can see how badly the Thunder played when Green was at starting power forward. Which of course makes you wonder, why are the Celtics playing Green at power forward? 
After looking through Celtic fans' concerns, here is my optimistic hope for Jeff Green's future. Some players who play the game passively and deferentially never make the transition into an aggressive player. They simply are not alpha dogs, and they never will be. However, there are those players that eventually figure out how to tap into their inner rage. The player that comes to mind is Yao Ming. When he was drafted, he displayed many of the same personality traits that are attached to Green. He was considered too passive, too friendly, too deferential to ever make his name in the NBA. And for his first few seasons, that is exactly what Yao was. He was supremely talented offensively, but the questions soon arose as to whether Yao would ever have that "killer" attitude.

And then, one season, he did. It was almost as if Yao one day decided, "Enough of the criticism. I'm just going to start dunking on everyone." And he did. Between 2005 and 2007, Yao added almost seven points per game to his average. Even more dramatic though, it was like he suddenly got an attitude transplant, as if he realized, "Hey, look what I can do!" Everything about Yao's posture changed. He became aggressive, emotional, and was a delight to watch because he realized that he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. It was a remarkable transformation.

Don't lose hope Celtics and Jeff Green fans, there is precedent that Green will figure it out one day. If ever there was a team that could bring out the nasty in him, it is on the Celtics, playing along side Kevin Garnett. I just hope it happens before the Celtics run out of time and Green gets relegated to the NBA's dregs. 

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