Fact: Jeff Green will not play for the Boston Celtics this season as reported by the Boston Herald:
The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Jeff Green will undergo surgery on Monday January 9, 2012 at the Cleveland Clinic and will miss the 2011-12 season.
A team of leading cardiac specialists who consulted with Green and the Celtics indicated that surgery should completely repair Green’s condition and that he can expect to resume his NBA career next season.
During his team physical Friday, December 9th, an aortic aneurysm was detected. As a precautionary measure, Green underwent extensive additional testing, after which doctors recommended surgery.
Fact: Jeff Green was essential to the Boston Celtics rotation this season.
In what is probably the last year of the Big 3 (or 4) Green was slated to spell relief for the aging group by eating up significant minutes this season. The back to back to back games and the 5 games in a week stretches were going to be Green’s time to shine and take over. It was supposed to be his season to show exactly why the Celtics front office chose him over Kendrick Perkins essentially last February.
The Celtics are still likely to make the playoffs and contend but their seed will be lower than they had originally hoped without Green. Doc Rivers had designs of running Green as a stretch 4 and actually pushing the tempo a bit in Boston as a result of Green’s versatility. One night before the announcement Rivers said the following in reference to Green “As a great example, you game-plan all summer about the small lineup we’re going to run with Kevin (Garnett) and Jeff, and if he doesn’t (play), that’s all gone. That’s a month of work I have to throw away.”
Ironically it was just a week or so ago the Celtics were in negotiations with David West and the team was on the verge of becoming incredibly deep in the front court. Now the Celtics will have to rely on Marquis Daniels, and gulp…Sasha Pavlovic. Rivers is a coach with a high aptitude and it will take every bit of that intelligence to construct another game plan with just eight days remaining before the NBA regular season.
In a bit of unpleasant business, the contract of Green will be voided making him a restricted free agent again this summer. There is a good chance Green will remain with Boston next year as a potential building block. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to the court next season.
One last fact: No matter how disappointing it may seem, the doctors who failed Green on his physical saved his life in the long run. Early detection is key in cases like this. The Celtics medial team along with the 2nd and 3rd opinions that were sought can not be heralded enough. That too is a fact and is the most important of all.
Get well Jeff.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com