Danny Ainge has worked magic in the past — bringing in both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to pair up with Paul Pierce — and it looks like he has done it again; only this time its the head coach. Brad Stevens looks to be a great fit for this young, rebuilding franchise. He brings an identity, especially on the defensive side of the ball; and possibly the most important thing — his star point guard already likes him. While Rajon Rondo is sidelined with injury, Stevens is working with the roster he was given and Jeff Green is stepping up like we all knew he could.
Just Reaching His Prime
Green is still only 27 years old. People forget that sometimes, probably because he sat out all of the 2011-12 season with his major heart ailment before being cleared by doctors to play in the NBA again. He is being asked to lead this young team in scoring and as their best perimeter defender (sorry Avery Bradley) as well — and so far he is showing that he is up for the task. Green’s numbers aren’t going to blow you away, but that isn’t what makes him a great player. Green has a propensity to make the right play no matter what the situation; sure he makes mistakes just like every other player in the league but basketball IQ might be one of his greatest traits.
He doesn’t force shots, he is super athletic and he is just now reaching his prime years for an NBA player. Prime years are generally reached somewhere from ages 27 to 29 in the NBA; how far you are able to ride those prime years will usually determine your “greatness” in this league. Again, I don’t foresee Green exploding and averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds on a nightly basis. Here are Green’s numbers through the Celtics first eight games …
Celtics Core Moving Forward
There are many, many changes that could be made before this season’s NBA trade deadline for the Celtics. These moves will key us in on Ainge’s long-term plans as well. The likely goners are Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries — the problem will be finding buyers for two guys that aren’t worth their contracts; and if you can find someone to take them, what could you possibly get?? The other telling move or non-move will be regarding Rajon Rondo. If Rondo is moved, or even shopped, then the Celtics could be in for a long rebuilding process. Franchise point guards are so valuable in this league right now and I think Ainge will keep Rondo around to help their young talent succeed sooner rather than later.
One thing is for sure — Jeff Green is here to stay. Green is signed through the 2015-16 season and is doing everything his coach and GM have asked of him so far in this young NBA season. Not only has he been a leader so far, but Green adds excitement to the arena right now. He has a couple amazing dunks in the first eight games and then there was this amazing moment from Saturday against the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat …
Lost in the shuffle — Brad Stevens drew up an amazing out of bounds play with only 0.6 seconds left — after that Green took care of the rest and the champs were defeated. The Celtics lost their first four games of the season but now have rattled off four straight wins. Could they possibly win more than originally thought this season? Doubtful, and honestly they need a top five pick to land a star to keep the rebuilding process moving forward.
Home vs the Charlotte Bobcats (3-4) Wednesday
Home vs the Portland Trail Blazers (5-2) Friday
Away vs the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-3) Saturday