Monday, March 21, 2011
Why the Knicks Should Watch Out For Jeff Green Tonight
Everyone knows that Paul Pierce is "The Truth," that Ray Allen is perhaps the purest shooter the game has ever seen, and that Kevin Garnett is one of the NBA's most intense players of all time.
These three players, of course, have led the way as the Celtics have once again climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference, but the team's locker room was shaken up when Danny Ainge traded defensive anchor Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for young wing man Jeff Green.
Would Green be able to make an impact behind leaders Pierce and Allen?
It just so happens that while Perkins' defensive presence is no longer there, Green has in lieu of that, given a huge boost to his new team's bench.
Averaging a far cry from his 37 minutes per game averaged in Oklahoma City, the 23 plus minutes per game he receives in Boston have proven enough for Green to make solid contributions. Aside from averaging 11.5 points per game, Green's field goal percentage is an impressive 52% overall, including 40% from down town.
Much of that, Green says, has to do with the chemistry he has already begun to build with his new teammates, specifically, his all-star point guard in Rajon Rondo. Green told The Boston Globe last week following his 19 point effort in a win over the Pacers, "You seen some of the passes he made. It’s a beautiful thing when you’ve got a guard that can pass the ball like Rondo. I kind of credit myself as a guy who can get out in the open floor and run. When you’ve got a guard who can pass the way he can pass, it’s fun."
When he isn't on the floor with the Celtics' starting point guard, Green can now be seen anchoring the team's second unit. After starting for most of his three and a half plus seasons with the Thunder, it's remarkable how well (and how so quickly, at that) Green has taken to coming off the pine. While with the Thunder, Green was a part of a young and upcoming team still climbing up the contention ladder, as they currently have the fourth best record in the West.
Now a Boston Celtic, Green is experiencing what it's like to be gunning right for a championship title, and is simply just trying to do his part, saying, "I just go out there and be aggressive, just go out and play hard. You play hard and it makes up for a lot of things. Lately, it’s been great for us. We’ve just got to continue to do that."
The Knicks, who on Sunday got burned by sharp shooter Carlos Delfino's (as opposed to the normally headlining Andrew Bogut or Brandon Jennings) career high 30 points, should be mindful of Green's contributions. While it's obviously important to attempt to shut down (each or any) of Boston's "Big Three," it's also critical to not allow the idea of Green's effectiveness evade them in Monday night's matchup.
If they do, Green could end up scorching them, just as he has proven to do to various teams in the last few weeks as his Celtics career has begun.