By Nicole Mercier
As the start of the NBA 2012-2013 season gets closer each day, there is one event that Boston Celtics fans all over should be looking forward to. I’m not talking about the highly anticipated showdown between the Miami Heat and former Celtic, Ray Allen, for the season opener. That is just one game of many to look forward to.
What should be getting fans excited about the upcoming season should not be the high profile games or seeing how rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo will do as the season progresses. It is the return of Jeff Green.
Jeff Green, who was traded to the Celtics during the 2010-2011 season, had to sit out the past year due to an aortic aneurysm. An extremely rare condition, Green had to receive surgery on his heart and continued to do rehab as the year progressed.
But it is finally time to see Green back in action with the Celtics. Though he will not be a starting player, Green will be used as an off the bench game-changer who will play both small forward and power forward.
Despite what some may think about Green, who is thought as undersized to be a power forward, not being able to step up to the task, his coach has other ideas. During one of the team’s practices Doc Rivers said, “Today, he seamlessly went from 3 to 4. It was easy for him. It wasn’t a forced issue. He looks great.” Notable words of encouragement from Doc, even if was only said five practices deep.
During the team’s first exhibition game in Turkey, Green put in as much work as possible in the fourth quarter during a game the Celtics eventually lost, but his performance was at least the silver lining. Paul Pierce applauded his teammate in the post game interview, praising him for how well he played after missing last season.
Even putting up 17 points in the Celtics game against Milano Sunday afternoon, Green is certainly putting on a show for the non-believers. And with pre season games and the regular schedule close on fans heels, it will be interesting to see how Green continues to develop, and how he will step it up when the Celtics need him most as an off the bench player.
Sources: SB Nation