Stevens wants Green to take more prominent role with C's

Stevens wants Green to take more prominent role with C's
September 4, 2013, 6:15 pm
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(AP Photo)

WALTHAM, Mass.  — There were stretches of play last season when Jeff Green was hands-down the best player on the floor.

Better than Paul Pierce.

Better than Rajon Rondo.

And yes, better than Kevin Garnett.

Still, too often those moments were soon followed up by the kind of disappearing act you usually find on the Las Vegas strip.

So as rookie head coach Brad Stevens begins to take inventory of what he has to work with roster-wise, there's no debating that Jeff Green will have a prominent role - a "Green" light, if you will - to be as dominant a player as his skills will allow without worrying as much about getting enough time on the floor.

After watching hours and hours of video from last season, there's no doubt in Stevens' mind that talent-wise, Green is up for the challenge.

"The next step for Jeff and I think Jeff would be the first to tell you this, is he has a great opportunity to do the things that he did [last season], even more consistently and with more opportunity," Stevens told CSNNE.com. "But with that comes a great deal of responsibility and a great deal of attention."

Even before trading away Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn, there was a sense among the Celtics brass that this upcoming season would indeed become a breakout sort of season for the 6-foot-9 forward.

When you throw in the uncertainty surrounding Rondo's return from a torn right ACL injury that was surgically repaired in February, and the legal issues that have recently engulfed promising second-year forward Jared Sullinger, it creates an even greater opportunity for Green to put his imprint on this Celtics team.

Green told CSNNE.com earlier this summer that being more than a year removed from heart surgery, he fully intends to take on a greater leadership role this season.

"But when all is said and done, I've gotta be able to play basketball," Green said. "I'm ready for the opportunity I'm about to have. This is a great opportunity for myself and the other guys on this team."

Stevens has high expectations for all his players, including Green, but knows he will have nights where he will struggle as will the rest of the Celtics.

Those disappearing acts fans have seen in the past from Green will have to do just that ... disappear.

"Everyday has to be a great day [for Green]," said Stevens, adding, "It has to be a day where you are making an inch of progress. And then the next day, an inch more and the next day an inch more, and not going back and fourth.  From what I have seen of Jeff and from what I have heard of Jeff, he's really bought into that and he's really excited about that."