He’s too nice to say it in these words, but this was Green’s fuck-you dunk, a giant middle finger extended in the direction of everyone who has called him out for his lethargic play at times this season. Everyone that is, including Green himself.
“It felt great,” he said. “I mean, I have been playing a little lackadaisical as far as the effort before the prior few games or so. It boosted your confidence up and it gets you going a little bit, so it felt good to get that to go down.”
That dunk was all kinds of spectacular. You could see it develop as soon as he caught it.
On the catch…. Millsap’s momentum was going the wrong way.
After one dribble… so much space
After the steps… he isn’t.
Holy shit… he did.
What ensued was an explosion of emotion from everyone that tells you so much about who Jeff Green is and what the Celtics want him to be. Specifically KG.
“I can’t tell you (what he said). Use your imagination,” Green said. “Just say, it was explicit. He said it to me the other day, what I need to be. That was basically what he said.”
Let’s just go to :22 of that video and see what KG explicitly said. Looks to me like he said “That’s that [expletive] I’m talkin’ about.” Which is probably a much more explicit, on-court way to say Green needs to be more of an asshole.
And when you read the quotes… Doc saying “Those are little plays that will just keep him going,” or Chris Wilcox saying “Yeah, we gassed him up. But at the end of the day, it was great, seeing him come through,” and even Green talking about getting his confidence up and how good the dunk made him feel…. the pieces all start (or continue) to come together.
Jeff Green is a nice, quiet guy. Which is great when he’s not playing basketball. So in come KG to remind him that on the court, you need to be the asshole, or the [expletive], or however KG wants to put it where Green throws caution to the wind, and just draws every ounce of talent out of his body.
And the rest of the team knows it, because every time he does something great like this, they talk about how great it is to finally see him doing it. The entire team is just like us… waiting (patiently, or otherwise) for Green to reach that level consistently. Let’s just hope this is the beginning.