The box score says it all: 0-9 from the floor, 0-3 from behind the arc, 1-2 from the free throw line, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 point in 20 minutes of regulation action against the Orlando Magic. That Jeff Green was on the pine during crunch time further lends credence to the fact that we’ve got ourselves good, old-fashioned situation happening in Boston. Green, the Swiss Army Knife of a player, should be using his versatility to do some awesome things to help our Boston Celtics win games. Instead, he is looking more and more like an over-hyped head case who just can’t seem to perform because of what’s happening between the ears.
I’m trying to give Green the benefit of the doubt, but when you turn in a stinker like he did tonight, you have to wonder if the heart-related issue that kept him out of last season will dog him for the rest of his career.
Clearly, there is something wrong with Jeff Green. And it’s costing us games. Tonight’s game shouldn’t have gone into overtime, not if Green had contributed anything on the floor during those 20 minutes that Doc Rivers charitably delivered.
You have to wonder what’s going through the heads of Rivers and Danny Ainge. As a coach, Rivers has to somehow figure out a way to snap Green back to life, but Green’s body of work in a Celtic uniform trends in a very bad direction indeed. As the man who gambled a hefty chunk of the Celtics’ financial future on Green, Ainge has to wonder if the $34 million investment was worth it.
I know one thing – as a fan, I’m concerned. And I’m not just jumping on Green’s case after one game. I’ve been waiting patiently for him to emerge as a consistent factor in the early part of this season, but it’s just not happening. If anything, Green seems to have regressed. He looks tentative. He looks like someone who’s thinking too hard and not just playing the game of basketball.
And in many ways, we saw a lot of the same thing after Green was traded mid-season for Kendrick Perkins.
I know, Rivers will publicly support Green and take the blame for Green’s lack of production. Ainge will continue to say all of the right things as well. But privately, they have to be sweating this one out.
If I were them, I know I would.