Many of you Celtics fans will have different opinions on Jeff Green the fifth overall pick back in 2007 but one thing is clear and its that he he is a new player this season. From the start of the season he has been a more aggressive more confident player taking it to defenses instead of being willing to defer to others. We all know Green can't carry a team but with a player like Rondo as the focus of a defense he can thrive as he has done so far this year. Last season it was all on him to lead this team something that he was not ready for its just not in his head that he is talented enough to just be like a Jobe or Melo and just take over a game. Even with games like a 40+ point performance against the Heat in the past he still just can't flip that take over switch. This season he has let the game come to him more which has led to much improved numbers.
Last season Green attempted 14.3 shots per game making only 5.9 for 41.2% which isn't great but as the number one option its not going to cut it. If we look at this season his average attempts have increased to 15.4 but his makes have also increased to 7.0 per game for a 45.4 shooting percentage. So even though he is shooting more he is making more and not forcing as many shots. If we look at his three point attempts it looks as if he is sitting behind the line more going from 4.8 shots last season to 5.1 this year making just 1.6 both years but his free throw attempts have also gone up from 4.3 to 5.1 so that shows he is going to the basket more which is probably the best part of his game with his athleticism. If we look at his per game averages the only one seeing an increase is points going from 16.9 to 20 while his rebounds and assists stay relatively the same.
The biggest knock against Green has been his ability to play consistently game after game. This season he has improved on this and in his last ten games has scored 19 or more points seven times. For the whole season in 21 games Green has scored 19 points or more 11 times but his worst game he still scored 10 points on 5-9 shooting against the Bulls a game he fouled out of after playing just 25 minutes his lowest of the season by over four minutes. Yes 11 for 21 isn't great but it's going in the right direction and improving. If we look at last year for the season Green only scored 19 points or more in 28 games and didn't get his eleventh 19+ point game until December 28th and he also scored in single digits in five times. So clearly he is playing a more consistent game. The other issue has been his inability to rebound and yes averaging just 4.5 rebounds a game isn't great he does spend a lot of time outside of the paint usually only driving to the hoop as opposed to playing more of a low post game. Another factor is having such a good rebounder in Sully and Rondo it does take a lot of defensive rebounding opportunities away.
Green might never be a fan favorite since many fans still blame the 2010 finals loss on trading for him but just ask yourself if the team is better right now having Green or Perk. He will never be a super star player but he could make a few All Star games before he is done and I think he is a key part of this team's future. If he can continue to improve the rest of the season he could make the All Star game this year and with Rondo and him getting more and more chemistry he is going to have his best season yet. If you follow the site closely I'm normally writing about the Bruins and this was my first article on the Celtics so let me know what you think and as always keep checking back here for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Boston teams.