When Jeff Green first came over to the Celtics in the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics enforcer and resident tough guy, to Oklahoma City, he was told that the Celtics wanted him to be more aggressive and he mentioned Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as players he was trying to pattern his game after.
He believes he can be successful in Boston and eventually do what he was brought in to do, take the mantle from Paul Pierce. Green said he was improving all the time and named Pierce, Los Angeles Lakers super star Kobe Bryant and Miami Heat forward LeBron James as the players he was trying to emulate,
“That’s up to Doc (Rivers). I know they wanted me to be more aggressive, so that’s what I’ve been doing, is just working on my all-around game. Getting a little Paul Pierce in me. You know, taking a little characteristics from different players. Kobe, being one. Paul. Being with them for a couple of months now. Just a number of guys. LeBron. I’m just working on my game, trying to get better.”
The Celtics are still looking for him to be more aggressive. From all reports, Green is one of the nicer guys in the league. Everyone who plays with him and who knows him will attest to this. Perk is one of the nicer guys in the league off the court, but on the court, I wouldn't want to get in his way. Perhaps Green should start patterning his attitude after Perk or KG instead of the other 3. He needs to develop a little mean streak. In today's Herald, KG weighs in on the matter.
“I told Jeff to start going to the basket a little more,” said Kevin Garnett. “He hasn’t been in the best rhythm, we all know that.
“I felt like after the dunk (attempt), he was a different player. He was going to the hole. He was rebounding with force.
“You know, Jeff’s a really, really nice guy, and some nights, you know, you’ve just got to be an (expletive). You’ve got to be . . . I can’t really say what I want to say, but he’s got to be that. And I felt like after the dunk he was aggressive. He was gritty Jeff, and when he’s like that he’s hard to stop. He’s really hard to stop.”
Said Doc Rivers, “I think we forget that Jeff sat out a whole year last year, and just because he played well in preseason I think people (expect more). It’s going to take him time. It’s going to take him time to get comfortable.
“When he plays like that, we’re a better team. He made defensive plays, he got rebounds, committed some hard fouls. A lot of good things.”
Green knows the deal.
“I’ve just got to stay aggressive,” he said. “As long as I’m aggressive, that’s all that matters. I attacked the rim. I’ve just got to continue to stay that way.”
We saw some signs of a more aggressive Jeff Green in the preseason, even prompting some comparisons to James Worthy. Green knows he needs to be more aggressive. He's known that since the first day here. No one expects him to be an enforcer, but he needs to drive to the basket, fight for rebounds, and be a stronger defender. We saw that aggression in the second half of the Celtics' win over the Bucks. If he can keep that up on a consistent basis, it will go a long way toward curing what ails the Celtics.