Ainge didn't feel he was being critical of Green

Ainge didn't feel he was being critical of Green
April 10, 2014, 5:45 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON — No matter what Danny Ainge says, there's still going to be a block of Celtics Nation that wants more from Jeff Green.

Never mind the fact that Green is averaging a career-high 16.6 points this season, or that he has been the lone Celtic to start every game this season.

Ainge spent part of Wednesday's game as a color analyst on Comcast SportsNet with Mike Gorman and Chris Herren addressing Green, and picked up where he left off on Thursday during his weekly interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub.

While some viewed Ainge's comments as being critical of Green and others, Ainge viewed his words as offering some context to the discussion surrounding the 6-foot-9 forward.

"I love Jeff," Ainge said on Thursday. "I mentioned there's only three or four or five non All-Star players in the league that have as many 25-point games (as Green). I didn't feel I was being critical at all. I felt I was putting a perspective with Jeff that some fans don't know."

Ainge is confident that Green will be a significant contributor to the team in the future, but doesn't see him necessarily in the same light as some Celtics fans.

"They still want him to be a superstar and I think Jeff is a very good player," Ainge said. "He's had an up-and-down year like our team has. But he's had some beautiful moments throughout the course of the year. He's not the reason our record is what it is, no more than it was Paul Pierce when we won 24 games in 2007."

Ainge talked about the need to add more talent around Green, similar to what the Celtics did in 2007 when they traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join forces with Paul Pierce.

But any comparison to the (former) captain is serious business in these parts.

Ainge was later asked if he thought Green was as good as Pierce was prior to teaming up with Allen and Garnett.

"No I don't," Ainge said. "But Jeff is getting better. I think he's getting better all the time. He's working on some new things this year."

Among the changes to Green's game is a greater reliance on the three-point shot. He's shooting 33.9 percent on threes this season while taking a career-high 4.8 per game.

"I like him taking more threes," said Ainge who added, "there's a little bit of growing pains that go with that. I'm glad he's doing it. When we're gonna be good, we're going to need him to be that three-point shooter."

Ainge added, "Jeff needs more pieces around him."