It is Time to Put Up or Shut Up About Jeff Green and Courtney Lee - They Deserve the Minutes

First let me say that I am a huge Jeff Green fan. I think he is a legitimate 18 - 20 point scorer in this league and can get you 6 - 7 boards, 4 - 5 assist, along with a block and a steal a game. Here is the issue, for a $36.0, four year investment, Doc needs to stop pussyfooting around with the rotation and start Jeff Green along with Paul and Kevin in the front court and give him Rondo type minutes of 35 - 40 a game.

I am not willing to buy into any message from Doc's disappointment to fans being disappointed when we took a guy getting those minutes and giving you roughly 15 points and 5 boards in on an up and coming OKC team (who took the Lakers to six games with their mighty frontcourt) playing on the frontline with Kevin Durant.

We took a number five pick and simple said he is now going to be Paul Pierce's backup and we think some day he could be really good in this league. Jeff Green is not a microwave like Jason Terry or Leandro Barbosa, he needs minutes.

Doc is creative enough to stagger the minutes on KG and Paul Pierce, to get size in the game, but Green and Rondo, need to be the two guys that we invest the quality of minutes 35 - 40 over the course of the game. We know what Paul and KG will give us, but given the "fight" we need to continue to see if Rondo is a leader and get a return on of Jeff Green investment.

Brandon Bass is going get you 12 and 6 if you give him a quality 25 to 30 minutes and game and I suggest that the rest of the allotment should be a battle between Chris Wilcox and Jared Sullinger if they are giving you the quality rebounding and defense, but the bulk of the rotation minutes have to go to Green and Bass. We built this team to be athletic and fast (ala Miami, whom Doc still thinks is the target) and we have to invest with serious minutes around that strategy. We do not have the personnel to be slugging it out with Brooklyn or Memphis; we have five guards who can up and down the court and if we need a little "nastiness" lets go out and get Kenyon Martin or Leon Powe; You don't Wilcox or Sully into the alley to meet up with Reggie Evans.

Jeff Green, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett can hold down the fort for 5 -7 minutes to start the game before bringing in Bass and Sully or Wilcox and sliding Green to the three. The issue in OKC is with Durant commanding so many minutes, Green never could take advantage of the other mismatches at the three. All this discussion about needing a true center or back-up point guard is just ridiculous; we have competent athletes that need to play Celtics defense, of course, but need to be let loose; and Jeff Green is the poster child for that strategy.

As evidenced but some of the grips on the way out the door by the like of Tony Allen, Big Baby, and recently Ray Allen, and yes even Jermaine O'Neal, Doc is a little to "Big Three Centric" (including now being Rondo centric) and it is confusing to others when you are trying to get them to step up. Jermaine O'Neal is like a new man in Phoenix; he is giving them 10 points, six rebounds, and 2 blocks in 19 minutes. We now know that Tony Allen is legit and Big Baby coming along in Orlando. KG and Paul will be the heart and soul of the Celtics until they walk out the door (sorry folks, Rondo is not the leader), but as we cut their minutes, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee need to be the beneficiaries of increased minutes.

The sad truth of these needed transitions and Doc rotations is that it takes injuries, ala Rondo and and Ray Allen last year, for Avery Bradley to turn his corner; before that happen Avery was about to lose minutes to Etwan Moore and be looked at as a bust (in certain corners)

Bring Terry off the bench, give Courtney Lee all the time he needs to works out the kinks to his shot and game; we know what Barbosa bring and Barbosa knows what he brings, we need Lee to get his game correct; so we need to give Lee and Green minutes to work out their games. The fact is Courtney Lee has all the raw skills to be a legit two-guard in this league, a poor man's RIP Hamilton, but he needs to the time to develop.

We have $60MM invested in those two over the next four years and we have to give both of them minutes to get a return on our investment. We simply cannot expect someone like Atlanta or Phoenix to take on contracts like this for Josh Smith or Marcin Gortat; we have to invest in the minutes to get a decent return either on the court or in some type of market value, because right now both of these talents have taken a step back.

Bottom-line, given the contract value - amount and length - of both Green and Lee, I still think they are long-term value plays, but they need a legitimate commitment on minutes 35 - 40 for Green and 25 -30 for Lee, for this value to be realized..

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