Good, Bad & The Ugly: Green at his best

Good, Bad & The Ugly: Green at his best
January 22, 2014, 11:30 pm
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Jeff Green's 39 points against the Wizards came on 14-for-26 shooting.

(USA Today Sports Images)

WASHINGTON — When the Celtics arrived in town about 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jeff Green made a beeline to his home, which he says is about 10 minutes away from the Verizon Center.

He had a chance to sleep in his own bed, and later play on the same court that he starred on with the Georgetown Hoyas.

Yes, Green tends to get quite comfortable when he comes back to this building, a lesson he consistently teaches the Wizards that never gets old for the Celtics.

Green delivered one of his finest performances by scoring a season-high 39 points in leading the Celtics to a 113-111 overtime victory.

His exceptional night included a career-high eight 3-pointers, which nearly doubled his previous high of five.

"He was really aggressive," said Boston's Jared Sullinger who had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his team-leading 11th double-double this season. "He played the way that he wanted to play, free minded. That's what we need out of Jeff. That was a good way of getting out of his so-called slump he's in."

On Wednesday, Green's 39 points came on 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) shooting from the field. In Boston's previous five games, Green was 20-for-64 shooting, or 31.3 percent.

With Boston's starting backcourt (Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo) both out as well as the team's third guard Jerryd Bayless, Green felt he had little choice but to step up his aggression level.

"Everybody had to step up," Green said. "I just put myself in a position where I had to be the man to carry the team."

And to do so in front of family and friends made a truly special game even more meaningful for Green.

"It felt great," Green said.

But before he would spend too much time relishing the moment, it was clear that Green's thoughts turned to previous success and how the Celtics have not been able to build on that going forward.

"This was one game," said Green, adding, "We have to continue to make progress from this game and get ready for Friday [against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder]."

The Good

Phil Pressey

Aside from Jeff Green's big game, there was no bigger star for the Celtics on Wednesday night than Pressey.

Instead of dishing out assists, he was dropping 3-point bombs unlike anything the Celtics have seen from the rookie. He finished with a career-high 20 points, which included five 3-pointers. Prior to Wednesday's game, Pressey had only made six all season.

"He took every shot that he took, with confidence," said Jared Sullinger. "And we needed that. We needed that the whole time."

Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace did more than just deliver the game-winning basket with 2.5 seconds to play in overtime. It capped off an impressive night for "Crash." He finished with nine points, six rebounds and a season-high nine assists.

The Bad

Dribble penetration

Because of Boston's lack of guards, it's understandable that they would struggle in keeping Washington's backcourt players from getting into the lane. Still, Boston was very fortunate to come away with a victory when you consider Washington had a decisive 48-28 advantage on points in the paint in large part because of their success at getting into the paint for easy baskets.

The Ugly

Terrible third quarter

It seems the Celtics have at least one atrocious quarter of play every night that puts them in a rut that they rarely fight their way out of and emerge victorious. On Wednesday, that was the third quarter which is when the Wizards doubled the Celtics up 30-15, which put Boston on the ropes as they went into the fourth quarter with a slim 76-73 lead.

Boston fell behind in the fourth, but made all the big plays at both ends of the floor in the overtime to escape with the victory.