In the Summer Forecast series, I was asked what the "X-factor" to the season was. Here's what I wrote:
Health. Period, end of story. But that's boring, so I'll talk about the next biggest factor: Jeff Green.
For the most part you know what you are getting with players (provided they are healthy). Terry is a scorer, Bradley is a stopper, Lee is a little bit of both. Green is, well, he's a jack of all trades, master of none, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. If utilized properly and if he plays up to his considerable talents, he could be a super glue guy. The kind of guy that doesn't lead the team in many stats, but finds a way to help on most of the plays and puts you in position to win more often than not. On the other hand, he could very well turn out to be an expensive bust. Neither outcome would surprise me too much and how much he contributes might well have a huge impact on the Celtics this year and into the future.
Next on the list I submit Zach Lowe's typical intelligent post regarding Green and how he projects as a defender in Boston's system. Well worth the read but here's a snippet.
But does Green and his allegedly awful defense fit in with this general notion of slowing the Heat? I’ve watched several hours of tape on Green’s defense over the last few days, and when you zero in on him like this, you begin to understand what at least a segment of Boston’s front office sees. Green is never going to be a lockdown defender at either forward position; he concedes too much against the extremes of both forward types, though he’s smart about how he concedes it. Against big post players, the Thunder often had Green front the post, a position of extreme vulnerability against good passing teams. And against quicker wing players and guards, Green concedes territory. He’ll take a step back to contain a potential dribble drive, giving a shooter just a bit more space than usual for a mid-range jumper. Again: He’s smart about this concession — Corey Maggette gets a foot more space than Kobe Bryant. And against truly elite shooting wings, Green will sometimes stick close and funnel a drive to a particular direction the coaching staff has chosen — the baseline or to Serge Ibaka.
That's my key hope with Green - that he'll thrive in a defined 3 role and pick up the defensive scheme well enough to be an asset on both sides of the court.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Green does this year - as I have been for a year and a half or so.