TORONTO — After Doc Rivers said there were faint hopes that Jeff Green’s condition wasn’t season-threatening, thoise hopes were dissippated by the discovery of an aortic aneurysm that will cost the swingman the season, and Rivers had nothing but sympathy.
“We were hoping we were wrong obviously,” Rivers said before the Celtics took on the Toronto Raptors Sunday at Air Canada Centre. “It’s a tough one, obviously. Not more for the team, I think that’s an easy way to look at it. I look at it more in a couple of ways, No. 1 how lucky Jeff is because the fact that we found it and the fact that he can actually come back and play to me is the minor part. I could care less about that.
“The fact that he could live and all that is far more important. That’s the way I looked at it and that’s basically what I conveyed to him. ‘Don’t look at this as a negative.’ This is an extreme positive. You’re gonna be OK, and that’s good.”
The Celtics had big plans to expand Green’s role and create matchup problems with his versatility. Those plans are now done.
“Team-wise it’s obviously a blow to us,” Rivers said. “It just tells you all those plans in the summer, I could have played four or five more rounds of golf because we put a lot of time into, we really were going to commit to in some point in every game going to a small group to try to pace the game with Kevin (Garnett) and Jeff. We wanted to be an effective small team. That’s basically going to get tossed.”