Green, Wallace form Celtics small forward tandem

Green, Wallace form Celtics small forward tandem
October 8, 2013, 3:45 pm
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BOSTON — For years the small forward position in Boston could be summed up in two words: The Truth (Paul Pierce).


Still two words: The Tandem.

That would be Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace who logged all the minutes at the position in Boston's 97-89 preseason loss to Toronto.

As expected, Green was with the first unit and finished with six points, two assists and two blocked shots in 23 minutes.

Wallace had a strong debut for the C's off the bench with a team-high 16 points to go with four assists.

It's still too early to tell what kind of impact they will have manning the position that was filled by Paul Pierce for more than a decade, but both showed promise on Monday night.

Although Green shot just 2-for-7 from the field, the majority of his shots were the kind that he would gladly take and more often than not, make.

And Wallace looked a lot like the high-energy, high-impact wing player who could defend at a high level while slashing to the basket for easy scores.

Both attribute the back-and-fourth battles in practice as being key to preparing them for all opponents.

"He's a great athlete; he's a great player," said Wallace in describing Green. "He's very skilled, able to play multi-positions."

Green has little choice this season, one in which head coach Brad Stevens has already said will be one in which he will be called upon to play both forward positions as well as some time at shooting guard.

"It's a learning experience," Green said. "You look at my career, I started off my first couple of years at the 4 (power forward) and no other position. The past year, I've been kind of thrown in the fire playing the 3 (small forward) and the 2 (shooting guard). But it's all learning process for me and I'm enjoying it."

And Green's enjoying having Wallace around as well, a player he credits for pushing him everyday.

"The challenge of playing against Gerald has made me a better player," Green said. "To me he's one of the top defensive players in the league."

And one of the hardest workers, too.

"The one thing I've learned about Gerald Wallace in my short time knowing him is he's going to give it everything he has," said C's coach Brad Stevens. "Regardless of whether it's in practice, an exhibition game, or a regular season game. That guy plays hard. And it'll be good ... I think that sets a really good tone for our team."