Green settling into roles for Celtics

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Green settling into roles for Celtics

BOSTON -- Jeff Green started the day questionable to play in Friday night's game against the
Portland Trail Blazers. By the end of the fourth quarter, he was the Boston Celtics leading scorer.

Green suffered a sprained right knee on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets and didn't make the decision to play until after pregame warmups. "I've just got to play through the soreness and pain and go out there and play hard," he said prior to game time. He delivered. Green scored a season-high 19 points (6-13 FG, 5-5 FT, 2-4 3PG) along with four steals, three rebounds, and two assists in only 23 minutes off the bench.

"Jeff is running the break, getting easy opportunities for himself," said Paul Pierce. "Hes one of the fastest guys out there."

The Celtics have looked for Green to be aggressive on a consistent basis. He has played just 16 games since season-ending heart surgery last January, averaging 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 22 minutes, and is still working to establish his role on the team.

One game, it was great," said head coach Doc Rivers. "What were trying to get him to see is
when hes at the three, hes a power player; when hes at the four, hes a speed player. Thats
how he has to look at himself. Our guys did a good job of getting him the ball as well.

Last Friday Green scored 17 points against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The
Celtics aren't looking for him to drop close to 20 points a game, but they would like to see him continue to bring that intensity game in and game out.

"I got to the line, attacked the rim, just being aggressive," Green said. "When you get easy
layups, get to the free throw line, it creates some rhythm. So that's what I did. I tried to continue and my teammates found me on a couple of the plays."

The Celtics will continue to encourage Green and get him his shots. After signing a four-year deal this offseason, he is a key component to their roster. Both his teammates and Green himself want to see him thrive on the Celtics.

"Jeff's a real, real talented player and we've just got to continue to promote him," said Kevin
Garnett. "Being a teammate, I'll support him in everything he's doing. Nights when he's not having it, try to get him easy baskets. Some nights we aren't going to have it going, but as a unit we're out there to make it easy on each other, so Jeff's no different."

As for his knee, Green said it "felt good" after loosening it on the exercise bike prior to the game. He plans to play Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Red Wings' Vanek, Nielsen score in 6-5 SO win over Bruins

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Red Wings' Vanek, Nielsen score in 6-5 SO win over Bruins

DETROIT - Thomas Vanek and Frans Nielsen scored in a shootout, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a comeback 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

The Red Wings rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits in the first period, and with 3:04 remaining in regulation, Gustav Nyquist scored to pull them into a tie.

In the shootout, Tuukka Rask and Petr Mrazek stopped the first shots they faced before Vanek scored for the Red Wings and Brad Marchand countered with a goal for the Bruins. Nielsen, who like Vanek joined the team last summer as a free agent, scored on the team's third attempt and Vatrano missed the net with a chance to extend the 1-on-1 duels.

The Bruins were dominant early before blowing a chance to keep Detroit at a distance in the Atlantic Division standings.

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics 'pummeled on the glass' by Knicks

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics 'pummeled on the glass' by Knicks

BOSTON – It seems to not matter whether teams go big or small against the Boston Celtics, rebounding remains a problem.

The Knicks proved that on Wednesday in handing the Boston Celtics a 117-106 loss which snapped Boston’s season-best seven game winning streak at home.

In the past, conversations regarding Boston’s rebounding problems centered around them playing against teams that just had more size and muscle in the frontcourt.

That was not the case against the Knicks (19-24) who out-rebounded Boston 57-33 despite playing smaller lineups than most of the Celtics’ past opponents.

“They were small tonight, so it’s not like that should’ve been a big excuse from a size standpoint,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Not that you should ever get out-rebounded by 24. But we weren’t much different; in fact we were bigger for most of the game and we still got … we just got pummeled on the glass.”

When it comes to rebounding with a small lineup, often it’s just a matter of who wants the ball more.

And the Celtics (26-16) had to acknowledge on Wednesday that most of Wednesday night, it was the Knicks.

“They played harder than us, they out-rebounded us, they played more physical than us,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “You’re not going to beat anybody the way they manhandled us.”

Celtics forward Jae Crowder echoed similar sentiments.

“They wanted it more than we did,” Crowder said.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game.

 

STARS

Derrick Rose

It was very much a hot tub time machine kind of night for Rose, who looked very much like the dominant player who won the league’s MVP award in 2011. Rose led the Knicks with a team-high 30 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Thomas

While Thomas had yet another strong showing in the fourth quarter, this was one of those nights when he needed more help than usual. That said, he still led all scorers with 39 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.

 

STUDS

Willy Hernangomez

No player better personified the struggles Boston had on the boards all game, than Hernangomez. He came off the Knicks bench to score 17 points and grab a game-high 11 rebounds – four on the offensive glass.

Jae Crowder

There were a lot of things to like about Crowder’s play on Wednesday, especially his defense on Carmelo Anthony (13 points, 5-for-14 shooting). But Crowder also delivered on the offensive end, scoring 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting with five rebounds and an assist.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas

Another unsung hero for New York on Wednesday, he had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting with six rebounds and two assists.

Jaylen Brown

It was a rough night for most of the Celtics, but Brown did provide a bit of lift when he was in the game. He finished with 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting to go with four rebounds and a blocked shot.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

This was one of those games that Horford would be wise to forget as soon as he can. He scored a season-low five points and shot just  2-for-14 which was the worst shooting game of his career.