Jeff Green was always somewhat of an enigmatic player. Since his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder, people questioned what his role actually was.
He always had potential as a scorer. In his sophomore season, he scored 16.5 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field, along with 6.7 rebounds a night.
But we haven’t seen that version of Jeff Green since. That’s part of the reason why the Oklahoma City Thunder traded him to the Boston Celtics in the first place. They eventually lost faith in Green.
The Celtics saw enough to give him a fat contract extension, and while I believe he’s highly overvalued here, that’s not our question.
We are questioning how important Jeff Green is to the Celtics, and I think his presence is going to be of minimal importance to Boston by season’s end… maybe even halfway through it.
The Celtics have certain roles outlined for Jeff Green. They’d like him to be a stretch four in certain cases, and would also like him to play the three in certain spots as well. Their primary goal for him? We can’t be too sure right now.
It looks as if it’d be a mix of both. They believe Green can stretch the floor offensively and defend most threes in the NBA. I think all of those hopes are out of Green’s reach.
Throughout his career, Green has always been looked at as a tweener. He was very good in some spots and very bad in others, up and down to say the least.
In 2008, according to 82games.com, Green’s PER was 15.5 in both the power forward and small forward spots. His opponent’s PER, on average, was 16.5 at small forward and 18.0 at power forward. He was outperformed at both positions and ended up having a negative net PER in both instances.
In 2010 with Boston, it was much of the same, although he did step it up defensively versus small forwards. He had a PER of 13.3 as a small forward – which is below average – and a 12.6 PER as a power forward.
Green did hold small forwards to a PER of 7.8 in his short stint with Boston that season, while power forwards had a PER of 15.9 against him.
So while Green may be a player that is able to play more than one position on the court, he hasn’t been able to do it particularly well. It’s still fairly early in his career and he can correct this. It’ll take some good coaching and a confidence boost, but it’s possible.
I still believe Green is overvalued here and isn’t as important as some believe in Boston. He’s going to have a lot to prove this year, so we’ll find out soon.
-MICHAEL SYKES, II
Will Green be a difference-maker this year?
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