The Boston Celtics have once again proven they are a premiere destination for players who want to prove their true worth, as Gerald Green has been the scoring punch that the Celtics envisioned him to be when they signed him to a one year 1.4 million dollar deal.
Green’s role throughout the regular season was misguiding, as he was hardly used except for in garbage time moments or close 4th quarter comebacks. His game is underappreciated in my opinion, as he can seemingly take over the game on any given night with his scoring prowess. As I have discussed with numerous other fans, the one reason Green is not seen as a starter in this league is the fact that he is not consistent with his play. But when he’s hot, you better watch out, as he’s coming with an arsenal of 3 point shooting and highlight-reel dunks.
During Game 4 of this first round series, Gerald Green showed off flashes of his ability to get to the rim and also pull it from deep en route to an 18 point performance over a span of only 23 minutes. His floor-spacing ability made it tough for the Bulls to employ a big lineup, which meant that if Chicago wanted to use Robin Lopez, they would have to use him off the bench, allowing the Celtics to play small-ball and torch Chicago’s guards.
If you want to see Green’s entire stat-line and production over this first round, click here
Overall, you have to give credit to Brad Stevens for the lineup change. The Celtics simply were not able to contain Lopez on the boards during the first two games in Boston, and the lineup change forced the Bulls to change their gameplan as the Celtics headed to Chicago. By going small on the Bulls, the Celtics essentially matched Lopez up with one of their best players in Al Horford, which has proved to be a good change because of Horford’s defensive capabilities. This combined with the fact that Horford began to emphasize rebounding has given the Bulls little to no chance to get the same rebounding numbers as they initially got.
In my opinion, I think the Celtics envisioned Green’s impact to come into play during the postseason, and I think that’s what they promised him. He was definitely underused during the regular season, but his scoring ability make him an ideal player to plug in whenever your team seems to be lacking that extra punch. So far I love what I’m seeing from this guy, and hopefully he can make a big impact not only on this round but the next one as well.
Quick Thoughts on what to expect in Game 5
Should Green start again, which he definitely should, expect the Bulls to do their best to slow him down and force other players like Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier to score. Isaiah Thomas has continued his excellent play as of late, and I expect him to use his sister’s tragic situation to fuel his game for the remainder of the playoffs.
Also keep an eye on Bobby Portis, as I am not convinced we have seen the last of his heroics in this series. His mid-range game killed the Celtics in their first two meetings, so the Celtics should look to shut down Butler first, then Wade, and then Portis in order to win their upcoming game at the TD Garden.