Green handles extra load for C's in Game 4

Green handles extra load for C's in Game 4
April 28, 2013, 8:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Like so many of his Celtics teammates, Jeff Green is being asked to do things on the floor that aren't exactly in his comfort zone.

Not only is he being asked to score more and rebound more and help out defensively against New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, but he's also required to handle the ball more when teams press the Celtics, as well as at times in half-court offensive sets.

Full load or not, Green was up to the challenge on Sunday as the Celtics kept their season alive with a 97-90 Game 4 win over the Knicks.

With the victory, the C's still trail New York 3-1 in their best-of-seven playoff series, with playoff elimination still staring the C's in the face as the series shifts back to New York for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Several Celtics stepped up in the win, including Green who did his part to keep the C's postseason afloat with 26 points and six rebounds.

Aside from that, he provided an additional ball-handler who could attack the rim in case the Knicks came with added pressure which is exactly what they did in the third quarter.

And while Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to get on Green during a time-out  because he didn't provide that relief on one possession, Green would respond not too long after that with a driving lay-up.

"I've never had our four [power forward] at times be our ball-handler," Rivers said. "But I mean, that's who we are right now. And Jeff can do that for us."

Green's speed from one end of the court to the other has been among the many reasons Boston has dominated this series in fastbreak points.

In Game 4, Boston had 15 fastbreak points compared to 8 for the Knicks.

"It was big," Green said of the C's points in transition. "Easy lay-ups are good for us."

Especially when you consider how offensively challenged the Celtics have been in this series.

Prior to scoring 97 points on Sunday, the C's previous high in this series was in Game 1 when they scored 78.

"We've got to continue to be aggressive in transition," Green said.

But that stems from Boston's ability to force turnovers, something they did consistently in Game 4 for the first time in this series.

The Knicks came into Game 4 averaging 11.7 turnovers in the first three games. They had 16 on Sunday, with 13 coming in the first half alone.

Green said Boston turning up the pressure defensively, a first in this series as well, was the difference.

"That's what we lacked those first couple games," Green said. "Our pressure. Pressure on the ball, pressure on the passer. We're going to force turnovers. We have to continue to keep the added pressure on the guys when they're trying to make post passes to Carmelo."

And while the pressure is on the Celtics to win in order to keep their season alive, Green sees it entirely different.

"We've just gotta come out with the same mindset that we had [in Game 4]," Green said. "The pressure's on them. They've gotta win the one game. We've gotta come out and continue to play well. Like we've been saying the first three games, we missed a lot, a lot of open shots that we normally make. Tonight they went in. We just gotta keep the pressure on them.

Green added: "if we continue to do that, it could turn into a wonderful series at the end."