|Posted by shawn cassidy on April 15, 2013 at 6:00 AM|
I think Rondo can relate with Jeff Green on some levels. Rondo was in the middle of three hall of fame players at one time. Sometimes it feels like Rondo took the team overnight. In 2010 Rondo became a new player, and he took his game to great heights. The Celtics were in need of something in 2010, and when the playoffs came around. Everything seemed to click. Rondo decided that he would become the best, or at least strive to be. Rondo was remarkable before he beat James and the Cavs in 2010 on his way to leading the Celtics to the Finals. The Cleveland series seems to be the moment he came out to the world.
Since 2010, Rondo has battled for control with the Big Three, more so with Ray and Paul. KG is a team guy, and he adapts to what the team needs on most nights so I never see an issue there. With Rondo out, and with Green becoming a super talent in the past couple of months. Jeff seems to be in the middle of a power struggle. The biggest reason behind the struggle could be simple. Jeff has become a starter, and finding a balance with two all-stars could be a process. I think the task should be on Paul's shoulders. I think the offense should showcase Green right now. When Rondo is healthy of course it should showcases him, but right now the Celtics need a dynamic player like Green. Pierce knows how to move aside, but how well can he do it.
The way Pierce sees it, Jeff Green is going through a similar transformation now as a starter playing on a nightly basis.
While some might see Green as too often deferring to Pierce and Garnett during games, Pierce sees it as Green simply finding his way.
"It's always different just like when Kevin and Ray came," Pierce said. "I was a different player."
Still called upon at times to put the Celtics on his back, the pressure to carry the team every night after Garnett and Allen (now with Miami) arrived wasn't nearly as great on Pierce as it had been.
Part of Green's problem is that he has exposed the world to just how dominant he can be if either Pierce, Garnett or both are out of games. And it's not a surprise that he has been at his best scoring the ball when one of those two missed a game.
Green's career-high 43 point effort came against Miami, a game in which Garnett did not play. His next highest scoring game this season, a 34-point effort against Detroit and like the Heat game, no Garnett. The 31-point game at Phoenix and the 27-point games at New York and against Atlanta all came with Green in the role as the team's primary scorer because of injuries or rest for the veterans.
But to expect him to be that good, regardless of who else is on the floor, is just not being realistic.
"You don't expect Jeff to go out there and average 30, 40 points with me and Kevin out there," Pierce said. "That's understanding the game. He doesn't have to do that. He's letting the game come to him more when we're out there"
Paul is right, Jeff won't score 30 every night, but he can on some nights I think. All I ask for is a balance. Jeff should be the guy that the Celtics look for. With Jeff's ability to head to the basket. It will open up the rest of the team. Much like Rondo's ability to get to the basket. The only issue could be that Rondo knows how to pass the ball. Jeff does, but he's no point guard. KG hit the nail on the head in my opinion on his take.
"A lot of times I feel like he does over-work or he does things that he doesn't necessarily have to," Garnett said. "The fact that he's aggressive is a great sign for us and I'm just continue to encourage him to do that."
Jeff just needs to be aggressive. If he's missing shots that's okay. He'll make them, and he will gain confidence even more. Many fans are looking at Jeff as the hero, but at the end of the day. This post season is about growth for Green. Rondo will need Jeff for a running mate, and the more confident Green becomes. The easier time Rondo has.