MANCHESTER, N.H. — Jeff Green has been in the NBA long enough to know not to put too much stock in preseason play.
Try selling that to Celtics Nation, many of whom have taken to social media in expressing their thoughts on Green's play.
@SherrodbCSN highly disappointed in Green thus far.— Mike Harshman (@mkharsh33) October 13, 2013
@SherrodbCSN he's just too predictable in what he's going to do. Poor poor decision making, looks like the old Jeff, unfortunately.— Daniel Donnelly (@WeeFatDan) October 13, 2013
In four preseason games Green has shot 27.5 percent from the field while averaging 7.8 points in 23.3 minutes per game.
Boston got its first preseason win Saturday night, a 111-81 thumping of the New York Knicks who sat the bulk of their regular season rotation. Although Green's plus-minus ratio for the game was plus-24 (second only to Jared Sullinger who was plus-25), it couldn't mask the fact that he shot 3-for-12 from the field with several of his shot attempts being relatively open or lightly contested.
"I'm just trying to continue to stay aggressive, do my best in the minutes that I'm given," Green said. "It is preseason and I'm not playing that much, but I'm trying to get a rhythm."
Minutes would certainly help.
Green said he had a conversation with head coach Brad Stevens about playing more minutes leading up to Saturday's game against New York. He wound up playing more than 29 minutes, the most he has played in the preseason.
While so much focus has been paid to his missed shots, a potential solution may lie in where he takes them and when.
At his best Green can be a one-man, inside-out scoring machine. Unfortunately, the 6-foot-8 forward has lately veered away from getting into the paint early in games. Instead, he has settled for jump shots that have not fallen. And when he has attacked teams going to the basket, too often it has been when the defense is already set up as opposed to what he was doing when he was so strong in the playoffs last season -- attacking defenses before they were able to get in position to slow him down.
"He would be the first to tell you that making more shots is helpful," Stevens said. "That will start with a couple of paint makes; getting into the paint, posting up, getting in transition, getting an and-one, getting an offensive rebound, doing something that is a difficult thing to do but is an easier finish. That usually opens the floodgates for making jump-shots."
Like all NBA players, Green isn't new to being in a shooting slump.
He said the main thing he has to do is remain aggressive.
"I know every game is not going to be perfect," Green said. "My teammates are going to continue to look out for me; they've always been there for me. They always got my back. I just have to continue to have faith and just keep working."