James bringing out best in Green

James bringing out best in Green
January 21, 2014, 7:30 pm
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MIAMI — For several days back in November, you couldn't turn on a sports show and not see The Shot!

You remember?

The fade-away, 3-pointer in the corner off one leg as time expired shot that Jeff Green swished that gave the Celtics an improbable 111-110 win over the Heat.

When asked prior to Tuesday's game against Miami what it would take to beat the Heat, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens quipped, "Last time it took a miracle."

As memorable a shot as that was for Green and the Celtics, the 6-foot-9 forward has long since moved past that night when the basketball gods did the Celtics a solid.

"I really don't think about it too much," Green told CSNNE.com of the shot. "We have too many games in between. I don't think about it."

Instead, Green is more concerned with doing whatever he can to help the Celtics (14-28) snap out of their recent struggles which includes losses in 14 of the team's last 16 games.

Inconsistency remains the calling card of Green's game; that is, unless he's facing the Miami Heat.

Green comes into tonight's game having delivered some of his best games of late against the Heat.

In Boston's win over Miami in November, he had 24 points on 8-for-16 shooting. And in his last three games, he has averaged 30.7 points per game.

For the 2012-2013 season, Green averaged 20.5 points against the Heat which was his highest scoring average against any team that he faced four times.

There's little doubt that facing the Heat brings out the best in Green.

And the reason is clear: LeBron James.

Facing the four-time league MVP has left Green little choice but to either pick his game up or get picked apart.

Green chooses Door No. 1, every time.

"When you're going against a player like LeBron, you have to make them play both ends," Green said. "That's what I try to do."

Indeed, Green's aggressiveness at both ends of the floor is palatable in comparison to how he tends to play against other, less talented teams.

And while James still puts up strong numbers - he had 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in the Nov. 9 loss to Boston - Green does as good a job as you'll find in making James work for his points.

"It's impossible for anybody in the NBA to guard somebody one on one," Green said. "So with myself and my team, make sure we're on the same page. And it's the same for him, probably. I know he's going to get the ball 80 percent or more of the time, than I do. I just have to be ready and keep my focus at all times going against someone like him."