Originally written on Celtics Green ...a boston celtics blog.  |  Last updated 8/29/12

Lex and I have been going back and forth about how Jeff Green will fit into the rotation and what to expect from him this season. I'm willing to throw out what he has done in the past and start with a clean slate. He will be playing his natural small forward position for the first time in his pro career. He also is coming off heart surgery that could have been fatal if not caught in time. A near death experience has a way of changing a player's approach to the game, as it did with Paul Pierce all those years ago. He has vowed to be more aggressive and I believe that he will.

Lex has some videos of Green dunking and blocking shots and showing how athletic he is. He's going to give the Celtics a very long and athletic small forward who will be tough for a lot of teams to match up with. He will also be able to play the four when the Celtics choose to go to a small running lineup. He's quick, athletic, has good hands, has good footwork, and can shoot the ball.


The knock on Green was that he was a terrible defender. But, as Lex pointed out, he was playing defense mostly against the likes of Zach Randolph. Thinking of Green trying to stop Zach Randolph makes me feel like going up to Z-bo and telling him to pick on someone his own size. He was playing out of his regular position and against players much stronger. I think he will be a decent defender when matched up with other small forwards. Again, from Lex's post, we have already seen flashes of Jeff Green the defender.
But although more offense from Green would be nice, his job against the Heat is largely to bother LeBron James as much as he can. Green was 5 pounds tougher at both ends of the court Saturday, but his part (along with Paul Pierce) in holding James to 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting was most appreciated by his coach.

"He was huge," Doc Rivers said. "I mean, it's a great example where probably in Jeff's career he's been judged on points scored, and maybe for the first time in his career he was as valuable as he's ever been without scoring. He scored a couple points, but his defense, his pressure, getting up, his deflections, him running the floor, stretching the floor for other people — that's the Jeff Green we want to see every night. It was great. He has to keep doing that."
Now that it's settled that Jeff Green will have a break out season at both ends of the court, I'll start on my rotation musings. Last season when given the opportunity, Avery Bradley emerged as a defensive presence and Doc had to make a choice. Realizing that our best starting five was with Bradley in the lineup, he moved Ray Allen to the bench. Ray didn't like it, but went along with it. A couple of times, he voiced his displeasure with coming off the bench, even though it was obviously the right move for the team.

Then came the off season and Ray bolted for Miami. In my opinion, this was a spite move on his part. The Celtics offered him twice as much and they offered him a no trade clause. What they couldn't promise was the starting spot back again. Even though Ray will be coming off the bench in Miami and making half as much, I think his ego had been bruised in Boston and he was going to stick it to them by joining their biggest rival in the East, even though 3 teams, including the Celtics had offered him more money and two of the teams would even give him a starting spot.

Now, fast forward to this season. Jeff Green is out-playing Paul Pierce. It's not such a stretch to imagine it, either. Last season, Pierce had clearly lost a step or two at the end of the season. Yes, he had a knee injury, but nobody really knew how bad it was. Paul Pierce has a lot of miles on him and Jeff Green is young, athletic and has a lot to prove. Almost like the situation with Avery and Ray last year. What if Jeff Green clearly outplays Paul Pierce and it's obvious that our best starting five has Jeff Green in it?

Would Doc make the move to bring the Captain off the bench? Would Pierce accept a roll off the bench? How would Rondo and KG respond to a request to move Pierce to the bench? All good questions that may need to be answered this season. Or, maybe not, but they are worth thinking about.

[Discuss on CG Forums!]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Here are your 2015 All-Star reserves and pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks president threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

ESPYs golf classic moving from Trump course

Report: Pierre-Paul could miss training camp, start of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Spurs sign David West

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Floyd Mayweather Officially Stripped Of Welterweight Title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

Carli Lloyd needs help to carry all her World Cup awards

Russell Wilson abstaining from sex with girlfriend Ciara

Coach K on meeting Beyonce for first time: 'I felt like 13'

Three-star TE Michael Irvin Jr. commits to Miami

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.