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The Weekend Greenie Bag - What Bench Player In The NBA Should The Celtics Go After?

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Good morning everybody welcome back to the best part of your Saturday morning. What an incredible game last night was, you’ll read more about that later today don’t you worry. A big week for submissions this week which I could not be more grateful for. I am glad my guilt is starting to work on all of you. Keep it coming. If you are reading this and suddenly feel left out, do something about it and tweet your thoughts/concerns/questions/rants/whatever with #greeniebag or email it at

Tons to get to, lets not waste another second

Great way to kick us off, because it’s a question that really makes you think. I’m obviously going big man so that narrows it down a little. He’s been in and out of the starting lineup so I’m not sure he qualifies, but it’s my mailbag so I’m going to allow it. The answer is Kenneth Faried. Monster on the boards, high energy player, oh my lord would he be fantastic in this system. In fact I am talking myself into desperately needing this to happen. Denver is sort of like the Celtics of the West, they’ve rebuilt through the draft and are hoarding assets. They have a surplus of games, Faried has started just three of their first 11 games, they need guard depth. Boom.

I’d also take Zach Randolph in a heartbeat. Yeah he’s 35 but he keeps on going. He isn’t going to give you the same fast pace style like Faried would, but he is 10000% better than Tyler Zeller.

Good thing you asked David, because I just talked about this in the blog this week. A few things have impressed me with Jaylen’s start. The good news we were told on draft night was that he was NBA ready, he just had a broken jumpshot. Well what we have is a guy who is carrying over his collegiate success to the NBA level. A lot of the same moves he used in college (his inside out hesitation move, his eurostep for example) are working on this level as well. Turns out he’s a much better shooter than maybe anyone thought, so that’s without a doubt impressive. I’ve loved his aggressiveness and how he attacks the basket. We saw it during the summer and during preseason, but it’s another thing to see it against real NBA talent.

But what really stands out to me is how calm he is on the court. To me he shows flashes of a Pierce type player in that it looks like he’s making his move in slow motion, but then the next thing you know he’s by you. He takes his time.


It sounds crazy, but Jaylen needs more work on the defensive end than anything else.Offensively he’s been better than advertised.


Hey Greenie,

What’s up. First off, I really appreciate your Celtics blogs. They give me a great second perspective as the team works through the season.

I have a bit of a weird question. It seems to me that the Celtics have some pretty consistent scorers in certain periods. Bradley is a monster in the first and Thomas is amazing in the fourth. It would seem to me that they need players to fill in during the middle of the game and create scoring opportunities. I was just wondering if you thought there were specific players that the Celtics should try to build plays around in order to keep their offense going throughout the 2nd and 3rd quarters. 

Also, Why the fuck does Avery Bradley out-rebound all of the tall people? Can they please step up?

- All the best, Celtics Stoolie

Well Celtics stoolie, you are correct in that Avery and Isaiah own those quarters. I call Avery Mr. First Quarter because really it’s where he is the most effective. This season he’s played 118 first quarter minutes, which is the most of any quarter for him. In those minutes he makes the most shots, takes the most shots, shoots 50.9% from the field and 53% from deep. He is a very, very important to how the Celtics start games.

Equally as important is Isaiah Thomas and how he closes games. Besides Jrue Holiday who just played last night and had 10, the only player in the NBA who scores more in the fourth quarter per game is Russell Westbrook. That’s pretty badass. Not only is he scoring, but he’s efficient, shooting 47%.

The problem like you mentioned come in the second and third quarter. When you factor in how both of those players above thrive early and late, it’s no surprise that the Celtics shoot 45% in first quarters and 48% in fourth, but struggle at 43% in the other two. The second quarter makes some sense, that’s when our stellar second unit makes it’s appearance. It doesn’t surprise me to see the offense struggle at times there, so offensively I think they just need better decision making. Marcus is starting to get back into the habit of bad threes, but I think once the rotations go back to normal that should improve slightly.

The third quarter is a bit different because as we’ve learned, it is entirely dependant upon whatever happens in the first quarter.


Hi Greenie,

I’ve read every bag/blog of yours for the last 2 years and you’ve finally successfully guilted me into sending a question. I’m sending this email in the midst of an argument with my friends about who is the better PG: Kyrie Irving or Isaiah. It seems like for the average the average basketball fan Kyrie is the obvious answer, but I feel like statistically it’s really close…am I being a total homer or is there a legitimate case to be made for Da Gawd? Even if you disagree, where do you rank IT in terms of PG’s?

P.S. Their main point of contention was that if Lebron was not on Kyrie’s team then Kyrie would put up better numbers, but I pointed out that IT’s usage rate is higher…what can I tell them to convince them that I’m right (I might be wrong but go C’s). 


Hey Greenie huge fan of the blog… I’ve been arguing with my friends nonstop about who’s the better point guard Isaiah or kyrie. I’d like to see if you can put that argument to rest once and for all. Go C’s! – Nolan

Aaron and Nolan let me first thank you for your service. This fight is going to take an effort from everyone, and shows no signs of slowing down. I think my stance on this subject is pretty well known. While yes, it is possible to understand that Kyrie made a big time jump shot in a big time game, one shot does not make a career. That one shot does not prevent him from being able to be compared to his fellow PGs who may be playing better than him. For example, Chris Paul has never made a conference finals, but Kyrie hit a game winning shot. Is Kyrie better than CP3?

In this argument, I stick to the eye test and facts. It’s a touchy subject for most people because of the narratives behind both players. Kyrie is the #1 pick on a great team, Isaiah is a short guy who was picked last and plays on a noncontending team at the moment. That doesn’t mean that Isaiah can’t be having a better individual season. In fact, Isaiah has been outplaying Kyrie since the moment he arrived in Boston, and that’s just the fact. No the Celtics didn’t have the success CLE did, but they also don’t have Lebron James.

My contention is this. Both players do certain things really really well, and there isn’t anything that Kyrie does exceptionally better than Isaiah, in fact it’s the other way around, so when people talk about PG tiers in the NBA, there’s no reason Isaiah shouldn’t be in the same class as Kyrie Irving. The numbers don’t lie

I always look at it this way, if Kyrie had Isaiah’s numbers, and Isaiah had Kyrie’s numbers, not one person would say Isaiah was better. They’d say look at the numbers. And don’t give me this “Kyrie plays with Lebron James” shit. There is a 3% difference in usage rate between the two. Kyrie being at 30% is the highest of his entire career. And guess what, how good was Kyrie when Lebron wasn’t there? Oh right, he had worse numbers than he does now.

I’m not saying Kyrie isn’t a great player, he 100% is, I’m just saying Isaiah is outplaying him and has been for two years.

I’ll have you know he is teething like a motherfucker, he takes a piss about every two hours and a shit every four. He gets 2.5 cups of food a day, and is usually awake for like 2 hours intervals but he does sleep through the night. If for whatever reason you can’t get him to fall asleep for a nap or anything, just play this for him over and over, he really likes it.

So while he’ll probably chew all of your shit he’ll also watch the Celts with you which is pretty dominant.




First off, thanks for the blog. I’m in my first year of law school and its the little things, like reading blogs by someone who cares about this team as much as I do, that gets me through class learning about the rules against perpetuities.

Heres my question: Whats the deal with Tyler Zeller? Have you ever seen someone start a season with more embarrassing plays involving one guy? Whether it was Tristan Thompson baptizing him, or getting blocked back to back last night, it begs the question, isn’t there a better option? I have a hard time believing that we can’t go after some role playing big that can protect the rim, pull down boards, and not shoot a layup even when you have a free path to the rim? I mean just dunk the damn thing! Maybe you could talk me into why we keep Zeller. Keep up the awesome work.

Sincerely, concerned fan who hates when we play like a “finesse team.”

Concerned fan…this is what I think about Tyler Zeller


I’m ready to give Mickey a majority of these minutes. It probably won’t be better, but maybe Zeller is best used sporadically. The problem with the type of player you want them to go after, isn’t really out there. Remember Horford will be back and hopefully that solves everything. Last night was another example of Zeller not being aggressive and killing momentum with bad turnovers. Until Horford is back though, Brad’s going to ride with him.



Who gets dropped when Horford is back? I love Amir’s hustle etc but the idea of both Kelly and Horford spacing the floor gets me hard. I can understand Kelly on the bench as some second unit scoring punch though, and we have enough rebounding issues as is. – Jack

Jack I’m with you, the idea of Kelly and Horford together does get the blood pumping. At the same time, I still think Brad goes with Isaiah/Avery/Jae/Horford/Amir when everyone is healthy for a number of reasons. First, I think Horford is best when he has a traditional center to play off of. In that Olynyk/Horford combo, you’re asking Horford to be more of a center which isn’t why I think they brought him here. They key to this team’s success is playing good defense, so I want my starting unit to have as many plus defenders as possible.

The other reason is like you mentioned, that second unit really needs the scoring. With this lineup the second unit is probably Rozier/Smart/Jaylen/Olynyk/Zeller. It’s much more important for me that Olynyk with this group, because I would rather help create space for guys like Smart since his shot could use the help.

Now for the Weekly Greenie Awards


This weeks MVP: Isaiah Thomas

I mean listen, you go 28/6 this week, including back to back 30 point efforts, who else exactly am I supposed to give this to? Isaiah’s reign continues.

Play of the week: Isaiah between the legs


This week’s LVP: Tyler Zeller

4-14 from the field this week. Gave virtually nothing in the NO and DAL game. I think we’re all in agreement here

This week’s Most Improved Player: Marcus Smart

Before getting hurt, Marcus was having a pretty good week, especially shooting from deep. In two of the three games he got in double digits, and in two of the three he hit multiple threes.

And thus concludes this week’s Weekend Greenie Bag. Thanks again to those who contributed, keep em coming. Have a great weekend everybody!