With 4:18 left in the Celtics’ latest win on Wednesday night, Jeff Green made a move toward the basket, spun off his left shoulder to the right elbow then palmed the ball with one hand and banked in a layup. At the time, it gave Boston the 105-99 lead.
Green finished with 36 points on 11 of 18 shooting from the floor against the 76ers, three shy of the 39 points he had against Washington in late Jan.
Because of Green’s capability to do such things, Celtics fans have often called for more out of the 27-year-old. There is one man, however, who is not doing such a thing.
That man is Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.
“I think the expectations are too high,” Ainge said of Green on his weekly appearance with Toucher and Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“Other than the LeBrons, Kevin Durants and Paul Georges of the world you really don’t get consistently 25, 30-plus points a night,” said Ainge. “Most players don’t ever score 36 points in a game, and Jeff’s had two in the past two weeks.”
Green’s 36-point night last night is just three days removed from an eight-point performance against the Orlando Magic, a game that he was 2-for-13 from the floor.
Ainge went on to say that he understood why some would feel as though Green should be scoring at a more consistent pace than he has been, but disagreed with the notion entirely.
“I think that’s just how Jeff is. He’s a very good player and not a superstar player where we expect him to do that.”
Ainge went even further on Green, talking only one morning after the small forward’s big night.
“Jeff’s not going to be the guy that’s going to carry us every single night,” he said. “We don’t have a guy that’s going to do that other than Rondo once he gets back to 100 percent. We need scoring to come from everyone. We need the whole group to contribute offensively.”