BOSTON -- In need of a shake-up following a 13-point Game 1 loss to Cleveland that was nowhere close to being that close a game, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has turned to a familiar face – Gerald Green.
Stevens announced that Green will be in the starting lineup in place of Amir Johnson.
“Gerald has been ready when called upon all year,” Stevens said. “In a unique year for him, right? Got hurt in training camp, didn’t hardly play until Christmas, played in the Christmas Day game and played a lot while Avery (Bradley) was out but didn’t play a lot much. But he has always been ready and always stays ready.”
The veteran guard has a pretty simple approach to tonight’s game and his role with the first group.
“Be aggressive at both ends of the floor, try to go out there and compete,” he said.
In Boston’s first-round series against Chicago, Stevens made a similar lineup change and it worked to near perfection with the Celtics reeling off five straight playoff wins with Green starting.
For Games 2 and 3 of the Washington Wizards series, Stevens went back to Johnson for Game 2, then Green in Game 3.
Johnson was back in the starting lineup for Game 4, and remained there until today’s lineup change – a five-game span.
Despite having experience with the first group in the playoffs, that’s not something Green is looking to necessarily build upon for tonight’s game.
“Can’t worry about that,” Green said. “Just trying to go out there and be productive on both ends of the floor, try and be the most athletic on the floor, knock down open shots … try to bring energy on both ends of the floor.”
Stevens added, “There’s things that when you go small that are not advantages and things you have to be able to soar with that are strengths. When you’re small, your guards have to do a great job if they end up in a rotation on (Tristan) Thompson or (Kevin) Love, specifically. Everybody has to pursue the ball. It’s like we said in the Chicago series, we’re not making this move to win the glass by 15. If we can manage it and be solid in that regard, make it as tough as possible and not turn it over on the other end and get good shots and knock them down, that’s your way of managing it.”
In his six postseason starts, Green has averaged 8.7 points while shooting 44.4 percent (20-for-45) from the field and 40.0 percent (10-for-25) from 3-point range.
And while there is the potential for Green to try and do too much knowing how important Game 2 in this series is, that’s not a concern to the 31-year-old.
“It’s better to do too much than not enough,” he said. “For me it’s all about going out and competing. For us, we’re taking it as a must-win.”