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A Green Night: Celtics 113, Suns 88

 

http://celticshub.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/UncleJeff.jpg

Now that was an impressive performance by Jeff Green on Friday night at the US Airways Center. Starting for Kevin Garnett, Green finished with 31 points on 11-for-14 shooting with a career-high five blocks. The 31 points were his fourth-most ever in a game and by far his most as a Celtic. In addition, Green’s single-player plus/minus of +26 was a career-best for him.

Green led the Celtics to their largest win in over a year as well as their biggest margin of victory on the road since December 2010. The Celtics’ win on Friday was their first road one against a Western Conference opponent this season. On Sunday night at Portland, Boston will be looking for its 10th road victory this season. The Celtics are still the only current playoff team to have fewer than 10 road wins in 2012-13.

  • mike

    Yea Green Night

  • geo

    glad to see green step up tonight. I really think that besides KG and Pierce is the best post player on the team. in OKC he was the starting PF and had to work on his moves to keep his spot. It shows now that like KG of old he is just too quick when he sets up against bigger players. really impressed with TWill and Jordan Crawford, our backcourt is really solidifying, hopefully they keep TWill around and he flourishes and DJ White comes in ready to scrap. forever an optimist about the Celts, the team on the floor tonight can make a deep run…

  • James Patrick

    Now that's the Jeff Green I thought we were getting. I think it's like Bradley. He's just a starter. I think Doc should start Green in place of Bass and move KG back to Center. But if this is the Jeff Green we can get consistently, suddenly the future (Green, Sullinger, Bradley and Rondo) is looking alot brighter!

    • IBleedGreen

      Your core four looks like a first round playoff exit team to me.

  • NZNICK33

    Keep believing! These C`s can do it!

    • Swissflix

      Oops. That minus 1 is on me, my bad. Let's go Cs!

  • Phil725

    So, remember like three months ago when someone asked what the excuse was gonna be for Green after his heart surgery was further in the past, and I said that he would go off as a starter in a small sample size later in the year after a minor injury, followed by everyone being convinced that he just needs to start? Is it too early to say 'nailed it!'?

    That said, as long as Bass plans on playing like this, may as well try Green as starter at the 4. I've been against him playing there all year, but it's not like he's gonna be worse defensively than Bass, and they're not that different rebounding. Green's on the edge of turning this hot streak into an extended run of good play, and I'd say he deserves a chance at an expanded role. I'm as skeptical of Green as anyone, but his play of late doesn't seem that fluky, even to me. The Cs are already ceding size, so may as well add more athleticism.

    • http://twitter.com/Sean945 @Sean945

      I pretty much agree but my only worry is that Bass would get lost in the second unit with Crawford, Terry and Williams dominating the ball. I know he's not exactly great right now but we can't afford to get nothing at all from him.

      As an aside how disappointing was Gortat? I know it's not a good situation in Phoenix but man he doesn't look like the player he did even 25 games ago. Pretty much their whole team needs a change of scenery I think, well apart from Beasley who probably shouldn't be in the league right now.

      • Phil725

        It's a concern, but I think things would still be fluid enough that he could get shots. Terry and Crawford both have very good assist numbers for shoot first guards, and Williams has looked good passing as well. For all the hand wringing over Bass' game, his offense really does fit in with any group. There's always a place to put a 4 who can hit out to 18 feet at a good rate. The ball movement as a whole has been great, and that should lead to shots for Bass no matter who he's out there with.

        Defense would be an issue (especially with a Crawford/Terry backcourt,) but KG plays half of his minutes with bench guys, and I don't think there's any ideal option for defense from the 4 spot regardless.

        As for Gortat, he's been really terrible lately. That said, I have to think it's almost entirely because he's really unhappy in Phoenix. It's a bad collection of talent, and he's been trying to get out for a while now. He's a guy I would target big time at the deadline next year. Between the fact that he'll be an impending free agent who won't resign with Phoenix, and will probably be on an extended down streak, you may be able to get him for twenty-five cents on the dollar.

    • Run Tommy Run

      With the players they have brought in it looks like the C's are finally going to run and Green is Gold in an up tempo system.

  • Anthony

    @phil – do you still think he resembles Alonzo Gee?

    As one of the only JGreen advocate here on CH, I feel vindicated. Obviously I don't expect 11-14 shooting every night but I think everyone has to agree on the versatility of his game. He's been on this nice stretch for the past month and it's not a coincidence that the Celts are 9-3 since he's gotten more minutes.

    Feb#s – 31mins .55%fg .50%3pt .87%ft 4.4reb 2.3ast 2blk 0.8stl 16.7pts

    Don't want to overlook the next few games but I'm circling the IND game next week. That should be a good test and let us see just how well this team can do come playoff time.

    • Phil725

      In fairness, I'm pretty sure I called him a rich man's Alonzo Gee, I know I said he deserved a little more than Gee's 3.5m price tag… Their numbers and games prior to this run were extremely similar. I still have to do a double take whenever I watch Cleveland to see whether or not it's Green out there. He even has a similar 3pt stroke. The difference between the two is that Gee is likely playing near his max ability, while Green's always had the potential to play better. Hopefully he stays there now, and I can put the comparison to bed from a numbers perspective.

      Green's February numbers have been great, and it's encouraging to me in that it seems like the shift in offenses has forced him into a more prominent role, and he's responding well. It's not just hot shooting or a linear numbers bump thanks to more minutes. Maybe the most encouraging thing to me is his line against Chicago: 8 points on 2-8 shooting/5 rebounds/2 assists. That's his 'worst' game over this stretch. He's in the unenviable position where consistency is what we want, so great games don't prove anything. It's really hard to win in that situation, but he's doing that right now. To say that this has been his best month with the Celtics would be a massive understatement.

      • Anthony

        I was just teasing. I know you're one of the most knowledgeable fans on CH. I may not agree with all your points but I do see your objectiveness when making your arguments.

        What about T-Will? I recall thinking he was talented when he was with the Nets but there were questions about his maturity. I know it's just some 38 mins of PT but he looks like a keeper.

        • Phil725

          I appreciate that. I know I've rubbed a few Green fans the wrong way; I've been pretty harsh on him since he got here, but hopefully he really is turning the corner now. I don't have anything against him, I want him to play well as much as any other fan.

          As far as Williams, I didn't see a ton of him before this year, but I love what I've seen the last couple of games. 38 minutes is nothing to have a parade over like you mentioned, but I always like bringing in guys whose biggest issues are character and off court issues. It seems even more prescient in this case, because there's nothing better to show you you're on the way out of the NBA like… actually being out of the NBA. Between that realization and the strong locker room here, if he doesn't get it now, he never will. I like that bet.

          The thing that's stood out to me the most is his rebounding. When you watch Pierce go up for a rebound, he'll swing his arm around, grab the ball at the height of his jump, and it'll stick to his hand. It seems so simple, but it's something not a lot of guys can do, and it lets him rebound at an elite level while fighting guys bigger and more athletic than him. Williams seems to have that gene (as his career rebound rate would also imply,) and it should make him valuable since the Cs are going to be very small all year.

          Between that and his passing, I'd be pretty shocked if he wasn't here for the rest of the year after what we've seen in two games. For signing a guy off the street at the all star break, I'd call a solid bench player a home run, and I think he can be that.

          • Anthony

            Agreed. I think JGreen relies far too much on his big hand and athleticism to beat his guys for rebounds.

            I also like Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe's take on JC, basically comparing him to Nick Young who singlehandedly swung the Grizzlies-Clippers series last year with that comeback victory in Game 1. In the same vane that Doc said Nate Robinson was going to win a playoff game for us a couple of years back. JC's a volume shooter on a team that relies way too on Pierce and KG to bail them out on the end-of-the shot clock shots. Adding JC is a positive in my books.

          • Phil725

            Agreed. My favorite takeaway from commentary on Crawford (I think this was Lowe too,) was that the good and bad thing about him is that he can get you a 40% shot at any time. If you're struggling to get offense or at the end of the shot clock, that's valuable. If you're depending on him as your main creator, you end up like the Wizards of the first few months. The Cs have the means to use him in the first capacity.

            The one thing that concerns me is that Doc basically turned on Nate Robinson after some period of time and buried him on the bench. Maybe that's because he had more options at the time, but they do bring similar stuff to the game. I hope it doesn't happen, because I love Crawford's fit on this team. I think he can play the Barbosa role better than LB. There's always room for a no conscience scorer on an elite defensive team.

          • http://twitter.com/Sean945 @Sean945

            I think the Nate situation was different. He and Baby had the whole Donkey/Shrek schtick going and between that and the then recent Delonte/Von Wafer spat not to mention any Ray/Rondo stuff i think Doc had just had enough of the off court bs. This situation feels much more stable to me. As a 4th guard you could do a lot worse than Crawford, nice little move by Danny.

  • IBleedGreen

    Everyone needs to stop hating on Green. At the end of the day we got the better player in that trade by shipping out Perkins.

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