That makes two big games in row from Celtics forward Gerald Green. He came up big on Christmas Day against the Knicks, and last night he trumped that performance with 19 points in 19 minutes against the Grizzlies. Gerald provided just enough of a scoring boost off the bench to put the C's in the win column for the 6th time in their last 7 games. The last time Green scored that much in a Celtic uniform was nearly 10 years ago:
19 points in 19 minutes for Gerald Green tonight.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 28, 2016
Last time he scored 19 as a Celtic was in April...
When the Celtics offense went stagnant on Sunday, Brad Stevens looked to Green to provide some offensive punch. Now after doing it two games in a row, it looks like Gerald might be forcing his way into Stevens' regular rotation. After playing in only 3 of the last 18 games before Sunday, Green wasn't worried about his lack of playing time. All he was focused on was being ready to deliver when his number was called. Via Chris Forsberg, ESPN:
"I think [Stevens] kind of knows I'll be ready," Green said. "I'm always kind of talking to the team. It's kind of like, I just have to do whatever I'm telling the team. I'm just trying to stay ready. I know it's a tough time because there are a lot of people on this team that can play, so there's always going to be someone who is unhappy. You know what I mean? You have to try to stay locked in, try to stay motivated and try to stay ready."
Everyone knows what Green is capable of on the offensive end. He's one of those guys who can get hot real quick, and become a real problem for opposing defenders. He's long and athletic so he can get his shot off anytime he wants. The former dunk champion can still throw it down, and he can also be quite the acrobat around the basket:
Gerald Green does the dirty work and drops in two more points! He's up to 17 points off of the bench 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rkibbqeDhT— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 28, 2016
Knowing full well Green's offensive potential, Stevens admitted after last night's game that his reluctance to use Gerald more earlier in the season was mainly because of his slow acclimation to the Celtics system on both ends of the floor. That was due in large part because Green missed a good portion of training camp with a hip-flexor. Via Taylor Snow of Celtics.com:
“He had some injury issues,” Stevens said Tuesday night, “and when you’re trying to play a fast-paced game while learning a new system on the fly, basically without any practice time – that’s hard.”
“I think he’s more comfortable in how we’re trying to play on both ends of the court,” added Stevens. “He brought great energy (tonight), and we needed every one of his 19 points.”
If Green can continue to bring energy off the bench on both ends of the floor, he'll definitely find himself a regular role on this Celtics team. He could be a huge asset serving as the modern day "Microwave", Vinnie Johnson, because it doesn't take much to get him rolling:
Isaiah on Gerald Green: "It only takes one shot for him to feel like he’s on fire."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) December 28, 2016
Last night the crowd at the TD Garden recognized Green for his outstanding play as he left the floor for the final time, and it clearly meant a lot to the 30 year old veteran swingman who began his career in Boston over ten years ago:
#Celtics Gerald Green: I never had a standing ovation here so it was nice to get one at this stage of my career.— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) December 28, 2016
I have a feeling it won't be the last time.
Photo Credit - Brian Babineau/Getty Images
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Mark Allison 12/28/2016 11:46:00 AM Tweet Edit