During tonight's game against the Sixers, Mike Gorman mentioned that Jeff is 8/11 on three pointers in the fourth quarter and overtime so far this season, and that reminded me of James Posey, who in my mind never missed a fourth quarter three during the entire '08 playoff run (maybe a BIT of an exaggeration).
Obviously they are different players, but I think it's fair to say that their roles on the team (at least the ones the team hoped for them to fill) are not THAT different.
Posey is (rightfully) remembered by many as being a key reserve on that '08 championship team, often finishing games beside KG at the 4 spot. In an ideal world, Jeff Green would bring that same element to the team as Posey did. Just by watching the two play, though, it's obvious they are just wired different. I'm not sure if Jeff will ever play with that kind of swagger, and with that kind of physical defense. But I thought it would be worthwhile to compare them -- how have Jeff's contributions so far this season compared to Posey?
Jeff Green 2012-2013:
22.1 mpg, 9.4 pts, 3.1 reb, .5 blk, .6 stl
.440 / .364 / .778. 7.9 FGA, 1.7 3PA.
James Posey 2007-2008:
24.6 mpg, 7.4 pts, 4.4 reb, 0.3 blk, 1 stl
.418 / .380 / .809. 5.6 FGA, 3.8 3PA.
I listed the salaries because, of course, with Jeff that is usually the first thing to springs to people's minds. He's always going to be judged based on his contract, fairly or not. What's important to keep in mind here is that although the salary numbers are apart by about $5 million, Posey was playing on a one year make-good kind of deal, and after that season he skipped town to get a big pay-day.
Over the next four seasons he made an average of $6.5 million. So I guess you could say the market value for Posey's '08 performance, even four years ago, wasn't that far off from what Green got in his supposedly outrageous deal. And Posey was 32 when he got that deal. In today's FA climate, if Posey were 26, who knows what his market value might be.
Because really, the box-score production isn't that different. Posey was a better rebounder, but Green is clearly the more productive scorer -- despite the fact that he takes less than half as many threes (though perhaps he ought to take more corner threes, which was Posey's specialty). The difference, though, like I said, lies in the intangibles and defense. Posey brought something to the team that can't be measured by statistics. I'm not sure that Jeff does. Maybe the stoicism is just his way of staying focused, but it often seems like for large stretches of the game Jeff doesn't get that psyched up.
Jeff doesn't seem to relish playing physical, dirty defense the way Posey did, but he does seem to get almost one spectacular block a game, and he also doesn't shy away from contact when he's attacking the rim.
In any case, Jeff doesn't look too bad in this comparison, which I think should help get some people off of his case, because I think his stoic demeanor and his somewhat inflated salary figure make people judge him more harshly than is warranted, in my opinion. That combined with the fact that he was traded for a fan favorite often leads people to look for any excuse to dismiss him. But he's perhaps not that far off from one of the guys who lives large and beloved in the memories of many fans in the wake of that '08 championship run.