Green ready to be a go-to option for Celtics

Green ready to be a go-to option for Celtics
July 9, 2013, 12:45 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — As Jeff Green strolled into the Orlando Magic's practice gym Tuesday morning, few people recognized him. 

Those days will be few and far between this season with Green being among the featured performers for the new-look Celtics.

While his emergence as a go-to guy this year has been fast-forwarded by the impending departure of Paul Pierce, make no mistake about it: Whether Pierce returned this season or not, Green was going to be a prominent performer heading into the 2013-2014 season. 

Pierce likely coming off the bench or at the very least, seeing a much more limited role. That's why Green isn't feeling any added pressure to perform this season.

In fact, he would be just as happy, as would the Celtics, if Green essentially picked up where he left off at the end of last season.

"The difference is me coming in probably with a bigger role," Green told "But when all is said and done, I've gotta be able to play basketball. I'm ready for the opportunity I'm about to have."

Indeed, Green showed plenty of flashes late in the season that he could be looked upon as a first-option performer for Boston.

During the playoffs against New York, he averaged a team-best 20.3 points per game to go with 5.3 rebounds. In a win at Indiana during the regular season, it was Green's last-second tip-in that won the game for the Celtics.

There were other moments throughout last season in which the Celtics went to Green in clutch situations, which he believes makes his role this season a natural next step.

"I think I've been heavily prepared for (this season) by Doc [Rivers] before he left," Green said. "Mentally by [Kevin Garnett] before he left. I think I'm ready for that next step."

But in the meantime, Green is doing his part to ensure that he's physically up to handling what is sure to be a much heavier load than he's had in past seasons.

Last summer, Green was still recovering from heart surgery and did little in terms of conditioning. This summer? Totally different story.

He says he has two-a-day workout sessions, six days a week. One of his workout partners has been teammate Courtney Lee, who was in attendance at Tuesday's summer league game.

"We had a good workout (Monday)," Lee said. "Jeff displayed some good athleticism, ball-handling, he displayed all that."

And he'll get an opportunity to continue to show those things this season as the Celtics kick their rebuilding process into high gear.

"We're in the process of doing some great things," Green said. "I've been working to do my part, make sure I bring what I can bring to the table."

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