BOSTON (CBS) – Jeff Green scored 36 points last night in the team’s 114-108 win over the 76ers, and just two weeks ago the Celtics forward had 39 points in a narrow overtime win over the Wizards.
His occasional scoring outbursts lead fans to believe he’s capable of doing it on a more regular basis, and consistency has been Green’s biggest criticism in his NBA career.
Celtics VP of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge addressed the knocks on Jeff Green Thursday morning on Toucher & Rich.
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“Other than the LeBrons, Kevin Durants and Paul Georges of the world you really don’t get consistently 25, 30+ points a night,” said Ainge. “Most players don’t ever score 36 points in a game, and Jeff’s had two in the past two weeks. I think that’s just how Jeff is. He’s a very good player and not a superstar player where we expect him to do that.”
“I think the expectations of him are not right.”
“$9 million a year expectations I think that’s what Celtics fans have,” Rich chimed in.
“Well $9 million is half of a maximum contract. Jeff is giving us 16, 17 points a game on a very efficient overall year he’s having. I think that’s what people should expect.”
Pinging back off his previous comments, the Celtics don’t have that elite, front line scorer. They have one of the worst records in the NBA, and even their best player, Rajon Rondo, is not known for his scoring abilities.
Ainge says there’s not one player that can carry the team right now and “We need scoring to come from everybody.”
Rajon Rondo has one year remaining on a very affordable contract that will pay him nearly $13 million in 2014-15, and the All Star point guard is eyeing free agency where he hopes to cash in.
He’s expressed his desire to remain a Celtic, but Toucher and Rich can’t help but wonder if this will somehow force Danny’s hand, forcing him to rebuild faster to placate Rondo and win here and now.
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Broadcaster Mike Gorman was asked this very question by T&R on Tuesday and said, “I don’t think Danny will be deterred from his plan.”
Does Danny feel any pressure to rebuild faster and keep Rondo in the same way he did with Paul Pierce before The Big 3?
“We all feel pressure to try to win. That’s the competition in this business. It’s fun, it’s intense and it’s competitive,” Ainge said. “We’re trying to get that team back to where we were the past few years. Sure there’s pressure, that’s the fun part of the job.”
Listen below for the full discussion: