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Jeff Green Did More Than Score 43 Points Last Night Against Heat

 

Jeff Green’s performance last night was beyond belief. As he shared the floor with the best player in the world, Green, at several points during the game was better than LeBron James, mixing an incredibly effective inside-outside game that the Miami Heat simply had no answer for. His shot chart was a work of art, with all nearly all 3-pointers and shot right at the basket, nothing in the mid-range.

After Green scored 26 points in the first half on 9-of-12 shooting, I joked on Twitter that he should pull a George Constanza and leave the TD Garden on a high note after intermission.

To his credit, Green did not do that. The former Georgetown star nearly picked up right where he left off in the second half, scoring 17 more points before becoming understandably gassed down the stretch and having to sit out a few minutes of the fourth quarter. Scoring 40+ and having to guard the reigning MVP all night will do that to you.

Green was not perfect later in the game. He made a couple mistakes defensively, leaving LeBron with openings as he tried to help his teammates in certain spots. While these plays weren’t smart, I can’t fault Green for this, as the addition of Kevin Garnett into this game changes Boston’s defensive dynamic entirely, allowing Green to focus on LeBron. Green was also clearly fatigued and should be much fresher the next time around in the fourth quarter when Doc has a full rotation to go with. That will help too.

One thing that encouraged me about Green just as much as his scoring last night was something Green was definitely not known for: his rebounding

Green has been doing a lot of things better lately, but rebounding is not one of them. He’s still averaging just 3.5 per game, and collecting just 12.6 percent of all available defensive rebounds when he’s on the floor. Not only is that a career low for him, that’s not a passable number for a player that the C’s will need to play as a stretch four in the postseason during crunch time.

The hybrid forward needs to be better on the glass, and on a night where he couldn’t miss, he also provided the C’s with a big boost in the interior, grabbing seven rebounds. That ties his highest board total in a game for the past three months. Percentage-wise, for the night, Green grabbed 18.4 percent of all available rebounds, which is an above-average number for any small forward in the league, any night.

The fact Green showed he was capable of doing this in such a big game, where this was already a huge offensive onus and responsibility on him speaks volumes to me. Green continues to progress as the year continues and while he won’t be scoring 40 plus points every night, if he can step up to help on the glass in the game that matters, it could be the difference between an early playoff exit and a serious challenge to the Miami Heat in a couple months.

Green also filled up the box score in with four blocks, two steals and a mere two turnovers on a night where Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley and Jason Terry were far too careless with the ball at points. Green scored, defended and didn’t turn the ball over. If it was possible to earn that inflated four-year contract in one night, Green may have done so yesterday.

Here’s his reaction after the game from a career-night that won’t soon be forgotten.

  • High Rollers

    A lot like Rondo’s 42 point playoff loss. Wild.

    We definitely saw two teams show their hands last night. We saw what both look like when they go absolutely all out. Crazy good. Of course, one of our best cards was out with the flu.

    Until next time.

    • CelticsBIG3

      44 points, but yes.

    • kg215

      What sucks is we lost 2 cards for the season (rondo and sullinger) that attack the Heat's biggest weaknesses (point guard and rebounding). I agree though if we can play the Heat like this we should be able to get the 2nd seed before the season is over (not that I actually expect us to get it, just that we are capable of it).

  • High Rollers

    Battier’s block on Green was clean last night, fair enough, but I’ll never forget the Wade foul on Rondo that wasn’t called.

  • Josh_5

    Give us KG, Rondo and Sully and we piss pound those chumps.

    • fabzzz

      Rondo's here, no game like this out of green.

  • KillerGymRat

    On a random note: Anyone else notice the grades were posted…then disappeared?

    • brobb7

      They just moved to the ticker on the left of the page.

  • KillerGymRat

    Games like Green had last night make sense of why Ainge has been so high on him and if he can find some consistency to his effort and come anywhere close to this or his 31 pt 5 blk game, he'll be an all-star.

    Last night was the first time I really saw him be creative with his offense and break out of the typical pattern of go-to moves he has. It was insane to watch. I really hope it gives him the confidence to play this way against every team. I mean if you can torch LeBron (who attempted to guard him for 3 quarters) and one of the better D's in the league, you should be able to do that against almost anyone.

    I really hope he becomes a consistent threat. It would make his contract seem like a steal.

    • hydrofluoric

      1. If the contract becomes a steal, Jeff just opts out in year 4 and we're forced to pony up even more. That's the worst aspect of it.

      2. I don't think Jeff really got creative much. He just upped his aggression and lost his conscience – driving any chance he got (torching LeBron a few times), finishing extraordinarily well, and splashing from outside. Nothing we haven't seen from him before… and that's why he got shut down at the end of the game. Battier is insanely intelligent, and against a guy whose arsenal basically consists of "drive really fast and elevate," he was able to make the game-winning block.

      Not trying to detract at ALL from the performance btw. Absolutely unconscious and brilliant game from Green.

      • CG12

        Green actually had a step on that play. He tried to cuff it and just didn't get a good hold on it. A play he would have finished if he wasn't so gassed.

  • NHBluesMan

    this game makes me feel alot more confident about the C's future. Rondo, Bradley, Sully, and Green + free agent center X is a great squad to be competing for years to come

  • jman

    Great game last night Green and the C's. It was good to see Pierce take a back seat knowing green had the hand lqst night. However, I'm sorry JG that Stern and Co. Had a different agenda last night. If any of you couldn't see the momentum killing calls throughout the game, then you're blind. Every time the C's had momentum, calls after calls we're being made. It's true that some calls were definetly C's bad plays, but hmmmm….interesting on how Miami's plays were not being called either. Instead we think about the .battier play which was definetly clean. Battier has always been a good defender. But how about the momentum changer of Bass's foul which wasn't there? How about the calls on Jet? How about the infamous Bradley call of "being to aggressive". WTF was that? Being called for being to aggressive with no foul in place? Those are momentum killers. Bradley wasn't the same after that call. But James, wade, Chalmers and battier can be aggressive. This game was a pure bullshit game in which Stern's agenda of marketing is in place not true game play. So tired of watching a game I've always enjoyed to watch and have a silent agenda in place. I know I'm a die-hard C's fan but come on now, they don't even try to cover it up anymore. Sorry Jeff Green but your night was tainted due to a marketing agenda. And yes, before you all shit on my statement, Doc did screw up at the end by keeping Bradley out there when Lee was having a great game and benching Green when he's young enough to not need a breather. And to me no one should shit on Pierce for that stupid 3 he shot for I feel the guy knew the game was bullshit at that point and probably just wanted to end it. As a player it has to be demoralizing to play your best and be kicking the shit out of the so-called best team in the league *cough cough* bullshit. I've watched a few games this week and saw the same agenda plan in those games as well. At least I can say when we have our streaks they're real since it always feels there's animosity against the C's. I hope someone like owners, coaches and players start releasing their monies and take the fines by expressingtheir true feelings about this. In fact walk off the court and give the win to them. Why try when there's an agenda. That would make a statement…lol. anyhow great game Green, glad I got to watch it just sad the glory was stolen from you for a agenda.

    • jman

      Sorry for the long rant…lol. didn't realize I wrote a book…

    • greenboner

      its fucking crazy.they flop all the time because they know the agenda and actually have the balls to yell at the refs the few times they dont get their way.lebron and wade yell at the refs like they are scolding their sons.if anyone else in the league did that they would be gettin techs every time.its fuckin disgraceful and noone wants to admit it to themselves.your comment should have 50 thumbs up!

  • Darrin

    jman is right there are many questionable calls that the heat get when there down in a game or up . I dont know what it is but you can see it after every heat possesion lebron is conversating with the refs & wade also . There is clear corruption in the NBA, I still think if refs made the right calls Miami wouldn't even be champs in a LOCKOUT shortened season last year . Just Shows you how much lebron and co need the easy way out

    • jman

      No shit they wouldn't of been Champs. We all watched the ECF last year. We saw the bullshit calls in that series. Boston clearly was in charge of that series. I hate to bring up old blood but 2010 game seven ring a bell? Come on folks, fouls are not all about FT's. To me it's more about momentum. Watch the game again and watch when those fouls were called. I agree that some of those calls should of been called, but t he Heat? No calls? Our home court? I don't mind losses, but when they're real losses. I know this is a story about Green but his glory was stripped because of a marketing strategy and to me that's the real story.

  • hax

    CelticsHub was hating on Jeff Green all year, and now it's lovey dovey. :/

  • Zee

    Good stuff as always. One thing that needs improvement is Bradley's layup shooting while being chased by a defender. It seems he gets this shot blocked a lot. Three times in one game? He needs to learn to switch it up like Rondo does.

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