Fitting in with Celtics no longer a problem for Green


Fitting in with Celtics no longer a problem for Green

When Jeff Green arrived in Boston two years ago, the goal was to simply fit in.

It didn't work.

Today, fitting in is no longer an option. Green has the ability to impact games in ways that no backup has been capable of during Doc Rivers' reign.

And with a clean bill of health and a renewed vigor to be aggressive, Green is on track to giving the C's exactly what they are counting on this season.

During Boston's two preseason games in Europe, Green was the most talked-about player (Jared Sullinger was a close second) because of his strong play.

"Jeff is important to us. I try to stress that to him everyday," said C's Rajon Rondo. "I don't want to put too much pressure on him, but he's going to be a key for us this year. He can play the 3 (small forward), he can play the 4 (power forward). And defensively, he has to
be our star. Jeff is capable of checking the 1 (point guard) through the 4. We ask a lot of Jeff. It's a team effort. it's not just going to be Jeff. But he's going to play a key role in our success."

He was especially impressive in leading Boston's second unit, with much of the offense being run through him.

"It feels good. Gotta be a leader, gotta be able to play both ends, lead by example," Green said. "And just learn from the guys ahead of me. There are hall of famers ahead of me, KG (Kevin Garnett), Paul (Pierce), future hall of famer Rondo, the Jet (Jason Terry) ... I have
a lot of people to look up to as far as leadership."

More than anything else, Rivers believes that Green is simply more acclimated to his new teammates, the city of Boston and maybe most important, his role.

"I just think he is a comfortable player," Rivers said. "When he plays with starters, he will be just as effective because he will be the third or fourth guy that they are worried about defensively. When he's with the second unit, he may be the first guy but he's still being

And an effective Green makes the Celtics a tough team to beat.

"It's a big year as a team," Green said. "We want to win a championship. But it's an important year for all of us to come out and showcase what Celtics basketball is all about."

Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley


Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley

BOSTON – Another year, another season in which Avery Bradley plans to showcase a new and improved skill that will benefit the Boston Celtics.
But with each improved skill, Bradley moves just that much closer to being an all-around, two-way talent that creates problems for teams at both ends of the floor.
We all know about Bradley’s defense, which was good enough to land him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season. He also gets props for steadily improving his game offensively in some area every summer, but defenses might have their hands full more than ever with Bradley.
According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, the 6-foot-2 Bradley was the only guard in the NBA last season to shoot better than 70 percent in the restricted area among players who took a minimum of 200 field goal attempts.
He is among a list that includes Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Miami’s Hassan Whiteside; current teammate and former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford; San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge; Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta big man Dwight Howard.
But if you’re thinking about keeping him away from that part of the floor, Bradley also made the 3-point shot a bigger part of his offensive game last season; as in, 40 percent of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.

Having that kind of diversity makes him a difficult player to get a clear read on how to defend. And because of that, it may open things up even more so for his teammates.
Bradley can shoot from the perimeter; he can score close to the rim. His ball-handling skills have improved in the offseason to where it no longer looks as though it’s a major weakness.
And he defends at a level few players in the league can match.
Collectively it makes Bradley one of the many challenges awaiting teams whenever they face the Celtics, a player who is poised to showcase his diverse set of skills beginning tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue


Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue

Tonight’s pregame number to watch is 45.4%. That was the Celtics' score frequency on pick and rolls finished by the screener last season, which was the worst rate in the NBA.

Score Frequency: The percentage of possession in which the team or player scores at least 1 point.

The major problem for the Celtics last season was personnel, as Jared Sullinger finished the most pick and roll plays for the C’s after setting a screen, and he was -- to put it nicely -- freaking terrible. Sullinger was the second-worst roll/pop man in the league, averaging a paltry 0.87 points per possession.

Fortunately, the Celtics replaced Jared Sullinger with four-time All-Star Al Horford, who is one of the elite roll/pop men in the NBA. Last season, Horford finished fifth in the NBA averaging 1.13 points per possession as a roll/pop man and boasted a more than solid 57.1 eFG% on those plays. 

eFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage): Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. The equation is ((FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

If you watched the preseason, then you already know the kind of impact Horford can have on the Celtics half court offense. So keep an eye out for those pick and rolls tonight and throughout the season, and we should see that 45.4% Score Frequency jump somewhere closer to 50%.