Grizz Acquire Jeff Green from Celtics

Posted on February 2, 2015


By: Cameron Andrew

jeff green

For the second season in a row the Grizzlies have benefited greatly from the Celtics rebuilding process. Last year the Grizz sent Jared Bayless to Boston in exchange for Courtney Lee. On January 12th, the Grizzlies traded Tayshaun Prince and a projected future first-round draft pick to Boston. They also traded Quincy Pondexter and a 2015 second-round draft pick to New Orleans. Boston sent Jeff Green to the Grizz, and New Orleans sent Russ Smith and a 2014 second-round draft pick to Memphis.

There were more moving pieces than the Bayless for Lee swap, however, the Grizzlies were clearly on the winning side of the trade, making a statement that they are all in for a run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2015.

Since the trade the Grizz have gone an impressive 8-1, beating fellow Western Conference power houses Portland and Dallas, as well as one of the few strong teams in the East, the Toronto Raptors. The only loss in the nine game stretch was to the Dallas Mavericks here in Memphis on January 19th with the score of 95-103. The Grizz then traveled to Dallas eight days later and revenged the loss with a crushing 109-90 victory.

Green has immediately made his presence felt since he arrived in Memphis. He is currently averaging 12.9 PPG while shooting .427 from the field and .355 from three point land. He seems to be becoming more and more comfortable in the Grizz offense as he learns how to move around with and dominate the post play of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

His percentages are leaving a little to be desired but he has been a significant improvement on the offensive end from the combination of Prince and Pondexter.

While the team expected Prince’s defense to be tough to replace, the Grizzlies have only allowed their opponents to score over 100 points once since the trade, during that loss to Dallas. Since January 14th, the Grizz are allowing opposing teams an average of 90.1 points per game.

At 6’9” his length and athleticism have allowed him to be a capable defender. Green has taken time guarding opposing players that Tony Allen would normally be chasing around the court. Against the Raptors, Green was guarding DeMar DeRozan, a match up usually reserved for Allen. Green forced DeRozan into a 2-11 shooting performance, and allowed Allen to play his league best defense on the Raptors superstar, Kyle Lowry, who shot a poor 7-23 from the field.

These defensive match ups have allowed Green and the rest of the team to pick up the slack left by the departure of Prince, but where his presence has really been felt is on the offensive end of the floor. His average of 12.9 PPG is higher than the averages of Prince’s (7.3) and Pondexter’s (4.5) combined average of 11.8 PPG. His shooting percentages are also higher than their combined .388 from the field and .344 from downtown.

As Green continues to learn how he fits into the Grizz offense, as well as earns more trust from coach Dave Joerger, his numbers should rise in the coming months as the Grizz push during the second half of the season for a home court advantage throughout the playoffs. ​

The Grizzlies will be at home next on February 8 against the Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks.

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