Fitting in with Celtics no longer a problem for Green

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Fitting in with Celtics no longer a problem for Green

When Jeff Green arrived in Boston two years ago, the goal was to simply fit in.

It didn't work.

Today, fitting in is no longer an option. Green has the ability to impact games in ways that no backup has been capable of during Doc Rivers' reign.

And with a clean bill of health and a renewed vigor to be aggressive, Green is on track to giving the C's exactly what they are counting on this season.

During Boston's two preseason games in Europe, Green was the most talked-about player (Jared Sullinger was a close second) because of his strong play.

"Jeff is important to us. I try to stress that to him everyday," said C's Rajon Rondo. "I don't want to put too much pressure on him, but he's going to be a key for us this year. He can play the 3 (small forward), he can play the 4 (power forward). And defensively, he has to
be our star. Jeff is capable of checking the 1 (point guard) through the 4. We ask a lot of Jeff. It's a team effort. it's not just going to be Jeff. But he's going to play a key role in our success."

He was especially impressive in leading Boston's second unit, with much of the offense being run through him.

"It feels good. Gotta be a leader, gotta be able to play both ends, lead by example," Green said. "And just learn from the guys ahead of me. There are hall of famers ahead of me, KG (Kevin Garnett), Paul (Pierce), future hall of famer Rondo, the Jet (Jason Terry) ... I have
a lot of people to look up to as far as leadership."

More than anything else, Rivers believes that Green is simply more acclimated to his new teammates, the city of Boston and maybe most important, his role.

"I just think he is a comfortable player," Rivers said. "When he plays with starters, he will be just as effective because he will be the third or fourth guy that they are worried about defensively. When he's with the second unit, he may be the first guy but he's still being
effective."

And an effective Green makes the Celtics a tough team to beat.

"It's a big year as a team," Green said. "We want to win a championship. But it's an important year for all of us to come out and showcase what Celtics basketball is all about."

Smart says Hayward is 'awesome' and plays up Stevens connection

Smart says Hayward is 'awesome' and plays up Stevens connection

Marcus Smart, meeting the media at his basketball camp for kids at Brandeis, sang the praises of potential future Celtics teammate Gordon Hayward.

"He's an awesome player," Smart told MassLive.com's Jay King and others on Tuesday. 

“He’s a dude who understands the game really well. I think it’s because he had [Celtics coach] Brad ]Stevens] as a coach. Nah, I’m kidding. He’s incredible. He’s a great player, he’s a great guy, and I think I speak for a lot of guys in this league when I say that.” 

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports' The Vertical is the latest to report that this summer the Celtics are working on acquiring both Hayward, the Jazz forward who played for Stevens at Butler, and trading for Pacers' All-Star forward Paul George.

How would Smart sell them on playing in Boston? 

“First off, this fanbase is incredible,” Smart said. “The energy that they give off every night, night in and night out, is remarkable. And then playing under Brad...who’s understanding the game more and more. He’s learning, and he’s becoming one of the greatest coaches in this league. 

"You’ve just got to love the things that he’s doing, and I think that everybody in the league understands that. They appreciate the work he puts in, and they see everything he’s been doing and accomplishing.”

NBA free agency opens this Saturday. 


 

Report: Celtics plan is 'sequencing' acquisitions of Hayward, George

Report: Celtics plan is 'sequencing' acquisitions of Hayward, George

The Celtics are working to acquire BOTH Paul George and Gordon Hayward this summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports' The Vertical reports.

More from Woj's report:

The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.

For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical. 

This report confirms an earlier one from the weekend that said the C's were looking to acquire both superstars.