As we've been saying all along, Jeff Green is a huge X factor for the Celtics. The folks from The Point Forward take it a step further and pin him as one of the biggest X factors in the Eastern Conference.
The jury is still out on Green, who was acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder in February 2011. He’s a tweener forward without a defined position, but he has the right combination of size (6-foot-8 and 235 pounds), athleticism and skill level to make James work harder than most. He’s not likely to approach his career averages of 13.9 points and 5.5 rebounds with the Celtics, and his early career days of shooting 13 times a game are definitely in the past. But the 2012 East finals were a dogfight from start to finish, and it’s conceivable that Green’s presence could have pushed Boston to a fourth victory, given Chris Bosh’s absence for much of the series and the immense load that James was forced to carry. With any luck, we’ll get to see whether Green is a difference maker against James and the Heat in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals.
Yup, his salary is ginormous, but if he means the difference between advancing and heading home in June, he'll be worth every penny.