For one moment let’s take out of the equation the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with the Boston Celtics next season. Even without either of those guys being traded or cut loose by Danny Ainge, it would be mind-boggling not to expect anything less than greatness from Jeff Green in the 2013-14 NBA season. While it was a fact that the Celtics were plagued by injuries left and right, you still couldn’t overlook the amount of faith Doc Rivers had in Jeff as he unleashed him as a trusted member of the starting five. He delivered one thing that Rivers looks for from his starters and that differentiates them from his reserves, “consistency.”
In March, Green averaged 17.6 PPG; 4.8 RPG; 3.0 APG; 0.9 SPG; 1.2 BPG; and 1.3 3PPG; while shooting 48% from the field and 78.7% from the charity stripe. All of that goodness came at the low, low cost of less than two turnovers per game (1.8). Only two guys were averaging 1+ blocks and 1+ treys in fantasy basketball that month. The other dude is some little-known guy named Kevin Durant.
Subject to favorable off and pre-season moves by the Celtics, I am inclined to buy heavily into Jeff Green’s stock next season. I like that he as eligibility in multiple positions and that he has a diverse, multi-category game going for him.
Aside from the statistical benefits Green brings to my fantasy team, I’m really loving the inspiring comeback story that his career is shaping up to become. He missed the entire 2011-12 season when aortic aneurysm was detected during a routine physical, forcing him to undergo surgery.
He fought and worked hard to regain the muscle mass he lost after the surgery. He didn’t lose hope. He persevered. He got an opportunity when his teammates were dropping like flies to various injuries and he eventually prevailed. While his story obviously does not have any bearing on his actual fantasy value, it adds to the fun of the game to own players who both contribute great stats to your team and whom you enjoy owning.
Come the 2013-14 fantasy NBA drafts, Green will likely be at the core of what I not-so-fondly like to call my “middle round madness.” I know I definitely want him on my team and I also want to snipe at a good ADP, but given the level of competitiveness of the leagues that I participate in, it’s going to be a game of chicken and see who blinks first, as far as stealing him off the draft board will be concerned.