Celtics Nation is in a state of panic.
In the crunch time that is the midst of January, the team has lost three of its last four games to teams far below its level. The boys in green and white (and black trim, too, these days) have seen their record drop all the way down to 30-6, with the winning percentage plummeting to the bottomless depths below .900. The coach who two weeks ago was an early front-runner for Coach of the Year is suddenly under major scrutiny from all angles. The point guard help that the team survived without for 32 games is now being desperately sought -- at least by those of us (self included) with the active imaginations and free time to dream up intriguing trade scenarios and free agent signings.
It is a time of crisis.
And with that said, here we come to make light of the situation.
Yes, the coaching concerns are legit. Yes, the depth concerns at the point and in the pivot need to be addressed. No, I'm not kicking them to the curb. In the coming days in this space, we'll get to Doc, the point guard situation and all other serious issues. But as long as we're in the midst of a week full of negativity, as this 1-3 stretch represents the first truly unpleasant adversity the team has had to face all season (the four-game West Coast swing may have appeared to present adverse conditions, but that turned out all right), let's make sure we have some fun with our complaining as well.
So to that end, I ask you, the reader, the following: Who is the worst Celtic you have ever had the privilege of watching?
No hesitation from this end. Let's get the ball rolling with a sterling nomination of one Orien Greene.
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In the interest of full disclosure and maintaining at least some modicum of fairness, the circumstances of Orien's tenure weren't exactly optimal. He was a 23-year-old rookie who spent just one season with a 33-win team. It wasn't exactly like he was playing with the easiest cast of characters imaginable.
But that said, the man played 1,232 minutes of largely putrid basketball in a Celtics uniform during the 2005-06 season, and he did everything in his power to earn this distinction.
A late second-round pick in 2005, Greene came to town billed as a very solid defender with play-making skills albeit not much as far as a scoring touch. Oddly enough, that scouting report sounds like another recent Celtics draft pick at the point.
The difference, however, is that two years later, it is clear that Rajon Rondo does have some defensive ability and play-making skills, and he is even developing a scoring touch.
In his 15.4 minutes per game spread over 80 outings with the 2005-06 Celtics, Orien Greene demonstrated the possession of none of those attributes. None.
The strengths of his game were supposed to be his defense and passing. Though he stood 6-foot-4 and supposedly had fairly solid quickness, Greene simply wasn't ready mentally to play defense at the professional level, consistently getting beat badly by more seasoned veterans and often committing silly fouls to exacerbate the problem. Yikes.
The play-making on offense wasn't much better. The offense routinely stagnated with Greene on the floor, unable to get baskets for long stretches of time. His 1.14 assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6 assists per game and 1.4 turnovers per game) only served to underscore this point. He wasn't skilled in the art of penetration, and without being able to effectively work his way into the lane, Greene was often left standing with the ball well outside the top of the key without many viable options for good looks at the basket.
Given Greene's troubles getting others open looks from the point, it should come as no surprise that he couldn't do much for himself either when it came to putting the ball in the basket. The man shot inside of 40 percent from the field, and opponents were more than happy to give him all the space he wanted both from behind the arc (22.5 percent) and at the charity stripe, where he shot 66.2 percent, abysmal for a guard.
Orien Greene played an average of nearly a third of every game he appeared in at point guard for the Boston Celtics for the one year he spent in Kelly green. He couldn't handle the ball, shoot or pass, and he wasn't all much of a defender either.
And he topped it off by doing 90 on a Boston main street, getting suspended and subsequently cut at season's end.
Without a doubt, Orien Greene is the worst player whom I have ever witnessed don the tradition-steeped green and white uniform.
Who is yours?