(I know I’m writing about Jeff Green yet again, but bear with me. The fad will pass soon enough.)
Like all other fellow Celtic fans, the glut of forwards and combo guards on the team has been obvious since the off-season. To me, it seems like coach Stevens is evening the distribution in the pre-Rondo-return era by:
- Putting Bradley, Crawford and Pressey into the point guard roles, while
- Retaining Lee, Bogans and Brooks as the shooting guards.
- Wallace and Green will of course remain at the small forward spot until small ball lineups move them to being power forwards.
- The queue at power forward will likely remain stuck for a while longer while the coaching staff decides, but I’m betting on a rotation of Bass/Humphries/Sullinger at the 4, with
- Olynyk/Favareni staying at the 5.
(Sidetrack: If you haven’t checked out the Celtics.com official roster page, you should. They’ve got some pretty cool effects when you hover your mouse above a player photo.)
This is where things get a little interesting.
The Celtics kicked off the 23rd Oct 2013 preseason game against the Nets with a lineup of Olynyk, Favareni, Wallace, with Bradley and Green to round off the guard lineup. This is likely an experiment in playing a “big” lineup more than anything else, but having a 6’9″ Jeff Green at the shooting guard spot is rather appealing; I’m reminded in a way of how Joe Johnson is like, and the massive mismatches he causes. Should Uncle Jeff exploit his opportunities right, we could be looking at big scoring nights in the games ahead.
- Size on the low post. Posting up smaller guards on the block? Check.
- Height on shooting. Shooting over the same guards? Check.
- Reach on defense. Long arms and lanky frame making life difficult for the same guards on defense? Check.
- Skill set overlap. He already has the long-range shooting capability required, being a very high percentage shooter at the corners 3 spots.
I’m sort of liking it already.
- Defense. Depending on the situation and coaching strategy, Jeff might need to get back on transition defense more than he used to, which might limit his scoring chances. However, I’m sure the small forward (Wallace) could slip into that defensive role and give Green his scoring opportunities at the rim.
- Rotation. The more minutes Jeff spends at this spot, the less minutes other guys get. We’re going to be paying a lot of guards to idle at the bench.
- Skill set required. I’m slightly doubtful at his split-second decision-making capabilities and passing speeds right now, it’s not up to par yet.
That being said, we should take some factors into consideration, just to set reality straight:
- It should take time for him to transition into the new responsibilities of being a 2 guard. Nothing is going to happen overnight.
- Obviously there’s no way he plays the shooting guard every night unless half the team experiences growth spurts, or we stop playing our other guards and allow them to start a poker tourney on the bench.
Something worth watching, could be be really good down the track! Right now, just feeling optimistic.