After missing the first two preseason games with a hip flexor, Gerald Green made his debut in yesterday's matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. He looked a little rusty at the start, turning the ball over and taking a couple iffy shots in the first half, but once he settled in he showcased the scoring punch that Celtics fans want to see from the now 12-year veteran. With 13 points in just over 20 minutes on 5 for 12 from the floor, his buddy Isaiah Thomas knows exactly what kind of impact his former Phoenix Suns teammate can have, Via Chris Forsberg, ESPN:
"We needed someone like him. A guy that can shoot the ball, a guy that can space the floor, and he’s just an instant scorer -- whether he starts, whether he comes off the bench, that’s what he’s going to do," Thomas said. "And he’s explosive. We needed somebody like him and, when we played in Phoenix, it was like we played together for years because we clicked so easy. I know where he likes the ball, I know where his hot spots are. He’s just somebody that’s very excited and something we need."
Green is happy his NBA career has come full-circle, and he's back with the team that drafted him in 2005:
Gerald Green on playing in 1st C’s game since ’07: “It’s almost like déjà vu again. I’m so happy to be able to wear Celtics green again.”— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 8, 2016
When asked after the game about missing some time during training camp, and the difficulties that can have when joining a new team, Gerald heralded his teammates for helping him along:
Coach Stevens was impressed with what he saw from Green in his first in-game action, and isn't worried at all about him falling behind:
"I thought that Gerald looked like he got his rhythm in the third stint. ... I thought overall he did a good job," said Stevens, about the only other 30-something on Boston's bench. "He’s behind a little, but he’ll catch up. He’s an older player who’s been around. He knows. The experience helps so much in regaining your footing."
I would have never imagined the day that Gerald Green would be the veteran sage in the Celtics locker room, but here we are. If he can consistently provide that offensive punch off the bench he'll be a valuable piece on this team. Even more so, if he can be a leader and mentor for the younger guys he can have an even bigger impact, and he knows it:
"Of course [he gives veteran advice now]. Because I got that same advice," Green said. "I try to tell young guys -- like, if I see a young guy pressing, I try to tell him to relax and play your game. If I see somebody that’s doing something good, I tell him, ‘Hey, man, keep doing those things. Those things can make you be a great pro.’ I just try to give guys encouragement, since I am the old vet now on the team."
Photo Credit: Celtics.com
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL410 Mark Allison 10/09/2016 05:22:00 PM Tweet Edit