Green, Davis will compete for crunch-time minutes

Green, Davis will compete for crunch-time minutes
March 1, 2011, 6:54 am
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By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SALT LAKE CITY The addition of Jeff Green gives the Boston Celtics another versatile player that coach Doc Rivers can use in a lot of ways.

One might be having him on the floor in the fourth quarter, a role that has primarily belonged to Glen Davis.

While Davis saw the bulk of the minutes down the stretch in Boston's 107-102 win over Utah on Monday night, there's no guarantee that Green won't have that job fairly soon.

We saw a glimpse of Green's role expanding when he was the first big man Rivers used off the bench.

Rivers said deciding which of the two will play won't be difficult.

"It depends on who's playing well," Rivers said.

Green comes to a Celtics team where he'll be coming off the bench - something relatively new to him.

In his four seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Green started more than 90 percent of the time.

So he's no stranger to being on the floor in the game's closing minutes.

He isn't sure if Rivers will eventually go with him down the stretch of close games, but he's more than up to the challenge.

Green played nearly five minutes in the fourth quarter on Monday.

Although he only had two points, Davis did a solid job defensively, including blocking a Gordon Hayward lay-up attempt to prevent the Jazz from taking a one-point lead early in the fourth.

"Jeff is probably one of the most versatile guys I've been around," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "He's . . . it just looks like . . . he does a lot of things that, he just makes it look simple. I can't put it into words right now. I'm glad he's an addition to our team."

As far as getting an opportunity to play in the fourth quarter, Green told CSNNE.com that, "It's cool," and added, "that shows that Rivers has a lot of faith in my game, allowing me to be out at the end of games."

For Davis, one of the league's top sixth men this season, he is often on the floor late in the game at the center position.

He was on Monday, and came up with a number of important plays in helping the Celtics squeak out the victory.

Davis finished with nine points, five of which came in the fourth. He made three of four free throws, including one that broke a 94-94 tie with 3:44 to play.

He understands that the Celtics adding Green will result in him having to compete with another versatile forward for playing time.

"It helps a lot," Davis said of the competition. "Just to have a guy of his caliber. He does so many things. It just helps us in so many ways."

But Davis, who played the entire fourth quarter on Monday, understands that Green's emergence may result in his playing time being trimmed some.

No worries, says Davis.

"It is what it is," Davis told CSNNE.com. "You gonna have to fight for minutes. That's just what it is. No matter how much you've proven yourself, there's always something they think you need no matter what you do. So for me, I'm just here to play."

And while the C's aren't necessarily pitting the two against one another, there's no mistaking that they will doing all they can to garner as many minutes as possible - especially those end-of-game minutes.

"They all want to play," Rivers said. "I don't think there's ever a negative effect to competition."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn