Green's struggles mirror his team's

Green's struggles mirror his team's
November 10, 2012, 5:36 am
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BOSTON This is a rough time for both Jeff Green and the Celtics.

Both sides understand how important each is to the other.

Green needs an opportunity to get his feet underneath him, to be more comfortable on the floor after missing all of last season after to heart surgery.

Boston needs him to produce at both ends of the floor, but especially on defense.

Green is simply not getting it done right now.

He knows this.

And so do the Celtics.

Still, in dealing with Green, the C's are taking a similar position to how they're handling their early season struggles - showing patience.

"It's a dilemma," admitted Doc Rivers who has been both Green's biggest critic and biggest cheerleader. "But he's going to be a good player for us this year. And sooner than later, I'm hoping."

The 106-100 loss to the Sixers on Friday night was yet another game in which Green's impact was for the most part, non-existent. In about 18 minutes, Green had four points on 1-for-5 shooting along with four rebounds and one blocked shot.

But the versatility that the Celtics (2-3) have been banking on him to provide, has not shined through just yet. There are occasional flashes of him being the player that the Celtics coveted, but those moments are too few and too far between.

A visibly disappointed Green has been through so many ups and downs the past year, it's hard to imagine that a string of not-so-stellar games will dampen his spirits too much.

That said, it's pretty obvious that his own personal struggles on the floor coupled with the Celtics underwhelming performances is starting to get to him.

"I'm not frustrated," he said after the loss. "It's only five games in. I'm not frustrated."

While those may be the words he is choosing to speak, his body language - and the words of Rivers - tell a much different story.

"Right now he's just absolutely frustrated," Rivers said. "You can see it in his play."

But as much as Green has to be an integral part of his recovery from his early season swoon, Rivers acknowledges that the Celtics as a team must do a better job of figuring out how to get him on track.

"Jeff's the easy target right now," Rivers said. "Jeff's part of this team, just like everyone else. And we have to do a better job of getting him going. He's probably got to do a better job of getting himself going."

While Green understands that there has to be a greater sense of urgency on his part as well as his teammates, he's not looking to change too much from his play of late other than improving the results.

"Greatness takes time," Green said. "It's a long season. We have to stay positive."