Jeff Green Gives Celtics Outside Shot at LeBron's Heat Come Playoffs

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2013

Mar 18, 2013; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) is guarded by Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) during the fourth quarter at TD Banknorth Garden.  The Miami Heat won 105-103.  Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Green's big game against the Miami Heat gave us a glimpse into what it would take for a team to beat the Heat, but they ended falling just short. Green did, however, give the Boston Celtics a bit of hope for the playoffs.

Boston fell to Miami 105-103 as Green left everything on the floor, scoring 43 points and walking away with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks.

Not only that, Green shot 14-of-21 from the floor, 5-of-7 from the three-point line and made 10 of his 13 free throws as he was constantly attacking the rim and doing everything to get the Celtics a win.

A very Harden-esque shot chart for Jeff Green tonight. Incredible performance:…

— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) March 19, 2013

Green was dead by the end of the game. He had to come out for a few minutes before the final stretch run. When he came back in the gas tank wasn't any more full, and he sputtered a bit down the stretch. It was the only thing that he really couldn't pull out in the end.

I suppose that means you all know what to expect from today's trip around the Internet, the notion that the Celtics have a huge weapon with Green, something that was previously an untapped resource. 

Not only that, we've got to have a conversation about the possibility of a matchup between the Heat and the Celtics in the playoffs, and the notion that the Celtics have a shot with Green in the fold.

Watching Green perform in what was, unquestionably, the best game of his career gives you an idea of what the Celtics were trading for back when they broke apart their team, sending Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City.

Danny Ainge is gonna be in "I told you so" mode if Jeff Green keeps playing like this.

— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) March 19, 2013

A Green on the top of his game brings something the Celtics wouldn't have otherwise; a young, athletic forward to throw at LeBron James.

Now, Green is not the player he was hyped up to be before the season started. He is not a "LeBron Stopper" any more than Avery Bradley could be a "Dwyane Wade stopper," but he is a damn good player on his own terms.

Without Green, the best defense the Celtics would have to throw at LeBron would be an undersized Bradley, an old Paul Pierce or Courtney Lee. Decent options all, but no real threat to James in the bunch.

Throw Green out there against the Heat and Boston's got a 6'9", 240-pound forward to step in LeBron's way and battle against him.

We always thought him a formidable defender at the very least, but watching him step up when the Celtics were without Kevin Garnett gave us a glimpse of what he's capable of in a high-pressure situation when his team needs him.

He's had decent playoff games before, but he's never been a featured player for a playoff team.

Boston has made a huge resurgence since the loss of Rajon Rondo, and a lot of their success can be attributed to Jeff Green's play as of late. He's been shooting 49 percent, averaging 14 points and playing some stellar defense.

Green has stepped up because the Celtics needed him to, and given the opportunity, Green showed that he's capable of filling a bigger role on either side of the ball.

Now, there's the little question of what the Celtics chances are with him in a series against the Heat.

Thinking logically, the Celtics were without Garnett for this particular loss, so adding him should be an easy win, right? Yea, as if the NBA were logical.

There are too many variables to factor into a seven-game series, with everything from home-court advantage to what the next level is for the Heat.

If you're looking for a clear answer as to whether or not the Celtics could pull off the upset, the answer is anything but clear.

With Green playing at this level they're definitely a bigger threat than they would have been even just a month ago. Green has picked up his production in a big way, and it seems as if that's going to continue, so Boston has an outside shot.

They're not a huge threat, even with Green at a high level. In fact, no team in the Eastern Conference would be considered a "huge" threat to the defending champions.

However, this game by Green made the Celtics a little bit more interesting. 


    Tony Parker: My Quad Injury '100 Times Worse' Than Kawhi's

    NBA logo

    Tony Parker: My Quad Injury '100 Times Worse' Than Kawhi's

    Dan Feldman
    via ProBasketballTalk

    Report: Steph Back Tonight vs. Hawks

    NBA logo

    Report: Steph Back Tonight vs. Hawks

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Ex-Cavs GM Believes Irving’s Knee Isn’t a Big Deal

    Boston Celtics logo
    Boston Celtics

    Why Ex-Cavs GM Believes Irving’s Knee Isn’t a Big Deal

    Darren Hartwell

    NBA Hasn't Seen Anything Like Anfernee Simons

    NBA logo

    NBA Hasn't Seen Anything Like Anfernee Simons

    Jason King
    via Bleacher Report