|Posted by shawn cassidy on April 4, 2013 at 5:30 AM|
Jeff Green has figured out something. His game was like a Rubik's cube for the first half of the season. I think a lot of it has to do with his endurance, and conditioning after heart surgery. It took him awhile to get going, and it took him some time learning to play the game again. With Rondo's injury coming into play this season. The Celtics need Jeff Green. Green is putting up 24 points a game in the past five games, and 22 in his last 10 games.
Green scored a game-high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from 3-point land, and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Green has found his clutch gene this season, and that story remained the same after he scored 13 fourth-quarter points, including 11 straight with under six minutes to play in the game. The Pistons were knocking on the door, and Green wouldn't let the Celtics lose.
"I don't try to take over games," said Green, who added six rebounds, an assist and four blocks. "That's why we've got [Pierce]. I'm playing off of him. We're looking for each other, we're being aggressive, and if it's in my hands, I'm going to try to make a play. If it's in his hands, he's going to make a play. So, we've just got to play off each other."
Green continued: "I didn't even know [I scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter]. My teammates were just finding me. We've got playmakers on the floor like Paul and [Terry] -- the way Brandon [Bass is] playing -- everybody's going to be open. My teammates found me."
"I just think [Green's] been aggressive, he's become more efficient," said coach Doc Rivers. "I think one part of his game that's opening up -- he's starting to make the elbow shots. Early in his career, even most of this year, basically, it was either the corners or to the basket. And how he's starting to make those shots on the elbows, which have been very good for us. And I think he's being aggressive, but he's also being patient as well."
Green knocked down four of the six mid-range jump shots he took on Wednesday, and afterward he touched on the added value those types of looks bring to his overall game.
"It's just something that I had to have in my game," Green said. "It's going to open up the lane that I'm going down. Teams have got to come out if I keep shooting the way I am. It's going to open up the lane and I can continue to get to the basket and to the free throw line. So it's just something that I have to have."
"If [Garnett] was here I'd still continue to be aggressive," Green said. "And he'd tell me that, too. Everybody has to step up. We have to do it as a team. As long as he's out, we've just got to continue to build what we have and everybody has to step up and be aggressive and I'm just doing my part.
"I've just got to continue to do what I'm doing now. The more and more that I continue to be aggressive, the more and more pressure that's off Kevin, Paul, Brandon, Avery [Bradley]. So, I've just got to continue to do me."
The one thing that pops out to me about Jeff's big games has been the absence of KG in the lineup. Can Jeff be that aggressive when KG is out there, and does Doc need to start Jeff Green? Jeff seems to have every offensive trick in the book. He can knock down three's, and he can hit the 15-17 foot jumper with ease. He can make circus shots at will, and he can dunk the ball on anyone. The Celtics are banking on big performances by Pierce, and Kevin in the playoffs, but Jeff Green is the guy who needs to be big in the 2013 playoffs.
Another good thing about Jeff Green playing this well? If Green and Rondo don't mesh well next season, or if the Celtics want to use Green in a trade over the summer before the season. Teams will be willing to trade for this guy. The big question is who can the Celtics get in return. I want Green to remain here, and a lot of it is up to his ability to adapt to Rondo when he returns. These two guys are the future, and this is Rondos team to have, and Green needs to be the guy to fit in.
Jeff Green continues to show that he's able to be a 20 plus point guy on a nightly basis, but he needs to continue to be aggressive on defense, like getting 4 blocks here and there.