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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump, Where Green & Lee are coming along nicely

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) October 17, 2012 Celtics News, The Morning Dump 11 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Jeff Green has stopped thinking about the surgery to repair his aortic aneurysm, the surgery that cost him a season and could have been a matter of mortality if not detected. Faith in his doctors — and a higher source — have left him with an almost fatalistic approach.

He is jumping from the plane, confident his parachute will open but ready to accept the consequences if it does not.

“It’s kind of taking a chance,” Green said. “It’s like the example you used with people skydiving. You never know what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to have faith that everything’s going to work out well. I use that with my knowledge in basketball. I’ve worked hard to get back to the position I’m in — being back on the court and in the shape I’m in, my skill set coming back to where it’s at. It’s me taking a chance and just going out there and playing basketball. I’m not going to be perfect. I’ve just got to go out there and play hard and trust that things will work out.

Herald: Jeff Green has no fears as season approaches

That photo might be one of the best missed-dunk photos I’ve seen.

Of course Green was fouled on that play, and he’d calmly step to the line rather than celebrate another huge dunk on a metro-New York team’s front line.  But the explosive attacking of the basket is a very welcome sight this preseason.  As Doc Rivers continues to tinker with all of his weapons like someone who just bought the latest Call of Duty game, Green has found himself on the court quite often.

He was, until Paul Pierce’s explosion last night, the Celtics leading preseason scorer.   And he’s taking just under 5 free throws a game so far, which, if it was the regular season, would represent a career high.

Yes, I’ll harp on the Jeff Green thing this season for two reasons:  (a) he’s a vital component to this team.  If he does well, then the Celtics are going to especially difficult because he, perhaps above all other guys, has the potential to be the biggest matchup problem for opponents.  And (b) everyone outside of Boston was just so dismissive of him.  The stuff people said about him was a borderline (and sometimes not so borderline) hyperbolic negative reaction to his contract.  As Green and the Celtics continue to get comfortable, we face the very real possibility that Green will get better, and thrive in this setting .

Speaking of which…

“I wasn’t shooting the ball well,” Lee said. “So when I got one, it was kind of a relief. It just shows that … one of the things Doc and this team focuses on is trusting each other. Rondo, he kept coming to me and he hit me on that open pass, and I hit the shot. To me, it symbolized all of that. My shot wasn’t falling, we stuck with it and Rondo kept coming to me.”

And Lee’s little celebration heading back up the court after the trifecta?

“I don’t have a title for it — I kiss both my fists, hit my heart and point to the sky,” Lee said. “I haven’t done it since college. But I was in some zone today. It rounded back out. I haven’t done it in a while.”

I’ve seen Courtney Lee do everything on the court already.  He has shown a fantastic ability to get past defenders on the perimeter.  He makes good choices with the ball.  He hustles.  He defends.  And pretty soon a lot of those shots he’s taking will fall.  This kid has a chance to do some really good things in Boston.

Pardon my channeling KG here, but it’s like making a stew… you’ve got all the ingredients there, you’ve just got to add the right amount of salt, some pepper, and let it cook long enough for all the flavor to come out.  Taste it too soon, and it won’t be right.

Lee needs time to feel comfortable.

“I just think it’s always difficult when new guys come in here,” Rivers said. “And it’s not the system; it’s that they are playing next to Paul and Kevin and Rondo. They’re trying to figure out, ‘When should I shoot? Is this a good shot for me?’ So that just takes time.”

It can be a daunting task to come in and play next to Paul Pierce, especially when he’s hot like he was last night, and say “well, I know I’m open, but Paul is kinda open, so I’m going to give him the ball.”  Because who wants to be the young punk that comes into Boston and steals shots from Pierce or Kevin Garnett?

This is where chemistry comes in.  These guys are all telling him to shoot.  And Rondo keep giving him the ball in places where he could do something with it.  Eventually, these guys figure out that the Celtics want the player they traded for, not some passive, neutered version of him.

I don’t give a damn about the results of last night’s game.  No one remembers any of the preseason records from years past.  All that matters is that these new guys get a good sense of what they need to do.  And yes, I count Jeff Green among them, because this is a new start.  And while there is definitely work to do, you can see both these guys coming along quite nicely.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Garnett: Best is yet to come from Celtics players  |

The rest of the links:

CSNNE:  Doc surprises staff, puts assistants in charge in 2nd half  |  Two lockerless Celtics learning from the ground up  |  Joseph “blessed” to remain on Celtics, but more work to be done  |  Wilcox ‘not ready, not comfortable’ enough to return  |    ESPN Boston:  Postgame notes: King of the Hill   |  WEEI:  The Nets rise and Celtics challenge  |  Paul Pierce ends this Celtics-Nets debate  |   Celtics eye outside help after cuts  |  Herald:  Joseph finds a place  |  Celtics revert to Plan B in loss  |  Globe:  Healthy Pierce starts strong

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  • Grandad434

    Last night stings… 2nd and 3rd unit Nyets blistered our Men in Green… Pierce brought the ruckus though. Rondo, oh Rondo, where art thou?!!

    • Alex

      Just going to say this now… Rondo is no way going to try in the preseason and I don’t blame him. He’s doing enough to move the ball around and he’s making his shots, but other than that, why play at 100% and risk injury on meaningless games?

  • thetitleisours

    Sign Lester Hudson?

  • thetitleisours

    Kind of painful to see the way E’Twaun Moore is playing these days

    • Grandad434

      Amen to that. Still can’t understand dropping him. Houston didn’t even give him a chance. I hope he takes over in Orlando.

  • Wels Catfish

    Some very good signs from Green and Lee.

    I had to laugh at Tommy saying Lee isn’t an outside shooter. He is, he just hasn’t gotten it going yet. He will. But I admit to not knowing all the offensive skills he had. His ability to blow by guys and get to the rim is very nice. He’s still working hard at defense, which is great to see.

    Green is still being aggressive. I like that a lot. I didn’t expect him to be banging into guys, even taking charges, after that heart surgery. If he and Lee keep attacking the rim like that, we should start picking up a lot more fouls. That’s one thing about Ray (and Terry too, sadly): he just didn’t draw fouls very often. And that hurts efficiency.

    I’m still not convinced that it’s smart to let Green play the 4. It’s fine on offense, but on defense it’s a lot to ask of the young fella. He isn’t comfortable with the rotations. Hell, Paul is better at that; he’s always been a clever at help defense and even covering the rim. But I trust Doc to give it some time and see. I just don’t want other teams murdering us at the basket every time KG (and Darko, haha) sit down.

    As far as the new additions go, I’m a little concerned about Terry. He isn’t shooting enough. We need him to be taking at least 5 threes per game. I’m not sure if he’s just trying to work on passing or if he’s not yet getting open…but we need guys who WANT to shoot. I think we get so caught up in passing sometimes that we end up turning the ball over or taking an even worse shot. I love that Bass will shoot when he’s open, and I want Terry to do that too.

    • Grandad434

      excellent breakdown! thank you. I needed some positive ruckus after the past couple of nights

      • Wels Catfish

        Hah, well I know what you mean. I feel the same way, because it’s easy to get caught up in results of the game — what, we aren’t beating NJ’s scrubs by 20 or 30 points? — and not look at the big picture. But hell, with the way Rondo, KG, and Paul look, and the positive qualities of all the additions to the team (Green, Lee, Darko, Sully) compared to what we lost, it’s hard for me to think this team won’t be at least as good as last season. Remember how poorly the team looked at the beginning of last season? Unable to control turnovers or cover the pick and roll, letting everyone in the paint? That’s how this team looks. Only it’s just the preseason. So I think it’s okay to have a little faith.

        • Grandad434

          Good call. The Men in Green will prevail

  • kg215

    Non Celtics fans are definitely emphasizing last night’s game because the Nets won and Deron/Joe Johnson/Brook/Wallace didn’t play. I can see why they would say that but we played Kurz/Joseph/Downs/Fab/Collins to close out the game. Doc clearly doesn’t care about the pre-season wins, I expect the team to get serious in game 1 against the Heat.

  • Reggie35RIP

    Green’s looking good which is great. I was reserving judgement on him until I saw him in a few games. He attacks the basket like a mad man. Which is good, but also a little concerning. Like against the Nets where he came down awkwardly and looked like he hurt his wrist. He’s going to bang up his body a lot if he drives in like that every night. Lets just hope he can stay in one piece.

    Lee is also looking good. It’s refreshing to have a bunch of guys that can all create their own shot and get to the rim – as well as hit the three.

    Sully also deserves mention. Blatche took him to school, but I don’t think Sully will be guarding to many 5s. His rebounding and post game are impressive. Great to have another legit low post option. Wondering if he’ll push Bass out of the starting lineup. Still got a lot of love for Bass’ game so not too fussed who starts. But good to see positive early signs from Sully.