Bruins

Green's struggles mirror his team's

927803.jpg

Green's struggles mirror his team's

BOSTON This is a rough time for both Jeff Green and the Celtics.

Both sides understand how important each is to the other.

Green needs an opportunity to get his feet underneath him, to be more comfortable on the floor after missing all of last season after to heart surgery.

Boston needs him to produce at both ends of the floor, but especially on defense.

Green is simply not getting it done right now.

He knows this.

And so do the Celtics.

Still, in dealing with Green, the C's are taking a similar position to how they're handling their early season struggles - showing patience.

"It's a dilemma," admitted Doc Rivers who has been both Green's biggest critic and biggest cheerleader. "But he's going to be a good player for us this year. And sooner than later, I'm hoping."

The 106-100 loss to the Sixers on Friday night was yet another game in which Green's impact was for the most part, non-existent. In about 18 minutes, Green had four points on 1-for-5 shooting along with four rebounds and one blocked shot.

But the versatility that the Celtics (2-3) have been banking on him to provide, has not shined through just yet. There are occasional flashes of him being the player that the Celtics coveted, but those moments are too few and too far between.

A visibly disappointed Green has been through so many ups and downs the past year, it's hard to imagine that a string of not-so-stellar games will dampen his spirits too much.

That said, it's pretty obvious that his own personal struggles on the floor coupled with the Celtics underwhelming performances is starting to get to him.

"I'm not frustrated," he said after the loss. "It's only five games in. I'm not frustrated."

While those may be the words he is choosing to speak, his body language - and the words of Rivers - tell a much different story.

"Right now he's just absolutely frustrated," Rivers said. "You can see it in his play."

But as much as Green has to be an integral part of his recovery from his early season swoon, Rivers acknowledges that the Celtics as a team must do a better job of figuring out how to get him on track.

"Jeff's the easy target right now," Rivers said. "Jeff's part of this team, just like everyone else. And we have to do a better job of getting him going. He's probably got to do a better job of getting himself going."

While Green understands that there has to be a greater sense of urgency on his part as well as his teammates, he's not looking to change too much from his play of late other than improving the results.

"Greatness takes time," Green said. "It's a long season. We have to stay positive."

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

golden_knights_malcolm_subban_101517.jpg

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.

 

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week. 

Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.  

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE