Celtics-Hawks Preview: Focus on Green

Celtics-Hawks Preview: Focus on Green
March 29, 2013, 10:00 am
Share This Post

BOSTON — Even before Jeff Green's game-winning shot at Cleveland, the scouting report on him was changing.

Teams are making a more conscious effort to force him to drive to his left, something that Green has recognized as an area he needs to improve upon.

While there was certainly much made about his right-handed layup for the game-winner, Wednesday's victory over the Cavs also featured him driving with similar ease to his left before finishing with 21 points.

Green's ability to be effective with either hand makes him an even tougher matchup nightmare for opponents.

"I have two hands, a left and a right. I'm a player," Green said. "I'm going to take what the defense gives me. I can go left. I can finish left, yes I can."

Green also credits his improved dexterity to working with video coordinator Kwame Graves-Fulgham.

"Me and my guy Kwame, he's been helping me with everything," said Green who added, "my game is a work in progress. I'm just working on everything."

Green's play will certainly have an impact on the outcome of the game Friday night against the Hawks at TD Garden. Here are a few more factors to watch as well.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Making this a high-scoring affair should benefit the Celtics, especially against an Atlanta Hawks team whose defense is starting to show some signs of cracking. Opponents have shot 44.9 percent against the Hawks this season. Still, in March, opponents have connected on 45.7 percent of their shots, which has been a factor in the Hawks' 7-9 record this month.

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Brandon Bass vs Al Horford: Coming off a season-high 22 points at Cleveland, the light bulb seems to have finally lit up for Bass in terms of what he needs to bring to the floor on a nightly basis. However,Horford is an All-Star who, like Bass, is playing out of position at center.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Avery Bradley continues to struggle with his shot, but more discouraging have been signs that his rock-solid defense has shown some slippage of late. He's still the C's best defender, but hasn't come through with as many game-changing plays recently. That has to change, both for him and the Celtics to have success.

STAT TO TRACK: Boston has been really hit hard of late by the scoring of opposing benches. In the past five games, C's opponents have gotten an NBA-high 40.6 points per game from their reserves, including two players (New York's J.R. Smith and Memphis' Jerryd Bayless) cracking the 30-point plateau.