Celtics go green in win over Suns

Jeff Green has been considered sort of a poison pill since Danny shockingly traded Kendrick Perkins for him. That move seemingly ripped the heart out of the team and ultimately sent the them into a tailspin.  To make matters worse "Uncle Jeff's" heart ailment resulted in him sitting out all of the 2012 season. The following season saw Danny Ainge give him a 36 million dollar contract that had pundits and Celtics Nation scratching their heads.  After all, he had not proven that he had recovered and his uneven play after the infamous trade gave many reason for pause.

During the preseason, Green showed glimpses of what he could be, but no one wanted to put stock in what were essentially glorified pick-up games.  Green's uneven play during the first-half of the season saw everyone clamoring to get rid of him. His small sample size of playing time showed that the more time he got on the court the more productive he was becoming.  Yet, Doc stubbornly clung to keeping aging veteran, Paul Pierce and an over matched Brandon Bass in the starting lineup.

It is unclear if it was due to medical restrictions or Doc's lack of trust in him that his playing time was being yo-yo'd.  We have to remind ourselves that this man was laying with tubes in a hospital about a year ago; and could barely do the things we normally do on a daily basis that we take for granted.  So forgive the man, if he doesn't explode out of the gates as if he never had life-threatening surgery.

Those pundits who questioned his mental toughness, should consider all of that, before hounding him and question his mental toughness, because very few people could do what this man is doing. We are seeing that Danny was right in reacquiring his 2007 lottery pick, as he continually improves and is pressing Doc through his play to make him a starter.

We know the Phoenix Suns are on the road to nowhere, but the fact remains that they are an NBA team and Jeff's marked improvement is becoming hard to ignore. It started with the serviceable job he did on King James at the beginning of this improbable run.  He didn't stop him, but he wasn't as timid as he was in his first year with the team.

It would be a shame if Doc does not keep this new offensive strategy of not calling plays when Rajon Rondo returns.  Because Rivers was the main reason that the team played by the numbers in the first half of the season.  He thought by running the same plays he had always run that he could get comparable results. This approach worked with the marginally talented players he had in previous year, but no so well with the present roster.

But he didn't take into consideration that he would have to change his approach.  The Rondo injury forced his hand to move to a more free-flowing game which is what we had been clamoring for all along.  If we recall as soon as two years ago, we saw Rondo pushing the ball, only to see Ray and Paul unable or not willing to run ahead of the ball.  So, of course it stands to reason that Rondo stopped pushing the ball and fell into the habit of running sets and slowing the pace.  He didn't have a choice, the mileage on Ray's and Paul's legs dictated that he do so.

The Celtics no longer have a need to do that, with the young legs and explosive offensive talent at their disposal. Doc has a decision to make because Jeff Greens' talent warrants him to make a decision on whether Brandon Bass or Paul Pierce should be relegated to a bench role. What do you think?