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Saturday, 31 August 2013 16:28

What to Expect From Jeff Green in 2013-14

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BOSTON -- During every NBA offseason there comes a time when the rumor mill is relatively silent. The major free agents have signed with various franchises, either re-upping or starting anew elsewhere, and, for the most part, the widely known complimentary pieces have been inked to new deals as well. So what are we as writers left with? Well, not much really. We hang on the edge of our seats nearly every day in hopes that even the slightest bit of news will break. You know, just something that will keep us busy until training camp convenes in late September. But, unfortunately, those small tidbits of information are few and far between, leaving the harsh reality of the summer's "dog days" imprinted in our minds. 

That said, there is something we can do to make solid use of our time. Since most team's have their respective rosters all squared away for the upcoming season, we are free to make assumptions and formulate opinions based on what we think will take place during the season in question. 

For the first time at CLNS Radio, we are compiling a round-table style series called "What to Expect." It's here that our more-than-qualified group of Boston Celtics beat writers will share how they feel the 2013-14 campaign will pan out for each individual on our beloved Celtics roster. "What to Expect" will be published each and every day, and it will continue to be posted until every single player has been touched upon. 

So now that you know what to expect from us here at CLNS Radio, let's cut the chitter-chatter and get down to business. The lucky - or maybe not so lucky - man that has the distinction of being selected as the first to be discussed is the "Ironman" himself, Jeff Green.

*Stat Projections include minutes per game, points per game, rebounds per game, and field goal, three-point, and free throw percentages.*

Rich Conte (@richconte)

2013-14 will undoubtedly be a career-defining season for Jeff Green.  His strong second half, punctuated by a 43-point outburst against the Heat in March and a couple of last-second game winners against the Pacers and the Cavaliers, ratcheted up expectations for the 6-9 forward.  The offseason deal that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets created a vacuum that puts Green in a great position to fulfill those expectations.

Jeff will slide into the starting small forward position vacated by Pierce’s departure and it seems a foregone conclusion that the increase in minutes and shots will mean a higher scoring average.  It will be interesting to see if he can maintain the offensive efficiency he showed at the end of last season or just becomes a volume scorer putting up empty numbers on a mediocre team.  He will be counted on to shoulder a greater playmaking burden than he has in the past, particularly if point guard Rajon Rondo misses time to begin the season.  If he can handle the increased responsibility while also having a greater impact on both the boards and defensive end of the floor, Green has a chance to raise his game to an All-Star level.

Stat Projections:

36.0 MPG, 19.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, .472/.411/.835

Tim MacLean (@TimMacLean_)

 Since being drafted in 2007, Jeff Green has been consistently – and unfairly – labeled as a complementary piece by fans and experts alike. But come the 2013-14 regular season, that all changes.

Gone are the days where Green will be known as “that other guy” who played alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. And, now that Paul Pierce is a member of the Brooklyn Nets, he’ll no longer have to play in the shadows of a man who will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest players to ever don a green and white uniform.

Instead, Green will be asked to play with a mentality he hasn’t had to play with since his Georgetown days. For the first time in his five-years of NBA service, Jeff Green will be expected to take the reins as the Celtics’ go-to-guy on the offensive end. And if there’s anything we can take away from his post-All-Star weekend outburst last year, it’s that he’s more than capable of shouldering the scoring burden for years to come.

 Heading into the season we should fully expect to see Green score in a myriad of ways, all while maintaining efficient shooting percentages. At the beginning of the year, however, Green will probably be forced to create the majority of his own offense and he’ll do so by taking his man off the dribble and attacking the rim with reckless abandon. Not to mention the fact that he’ll be using the jump shot that he suddenly became so confident in during 2012-13. Then, things will only get easier for him when Rajon Rondo returns. The presence of the Celtics floor general will allow Green to play off the ball more often, leading to points via spot-up jumpers, pick-and-rolls, and alley-oops in transition.

The bottom line is this: Jeff Green will have a breakout year on the offensive side of the ball all while continuing to play solid defense on the other end. He should have no problem shattering his career per-36 minute averages of 15.1 points and 5.8 rebounds (per Basketball-Reference).

Stat Projections:

38.5 MPG, 21.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, .469/.384/.862

Sloan Piva (@SloanPiva)

Jeff Green's inherently substantial role following the Pierce/KG deal will undoubtedly propel him into the top 20 list of scoring leaders in the NBA this season. After a breakout second-half of 2012-13, the formerly-inconsistent Green could easily become one of the more well-known go-to players in the league, maybe even to the level of a Carmelo Anthony. But much like Anthony, he'll probably max out at the low-to-mid 40 percent level from the field. With a young squad around him, an unhealthy Rondo and Sullinger, and no Pierce or Garnett, it's hard to trust Green's ability to achieve superstardom just yet.

Stat Projections:

34.5 MPG, 22.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, .419/.324/.763