As Alex Schiffer reports for The Athletic, none of the Nets “new guys” has the connections that Jeff Green has...
Perhaps no one on the Nets roster has more ties to the coaching staff and other players than Green. He hails from the same area as Durant and was prominently featured in “Basketball County: In The Water,” Durant’s documentary, released earlier this year, on the basketball pedigree of PG County. Green played with Durant and Nets assistant coach Royal Ivey early in Oklahoma City; he also played with DeAndre Jordan briefly in Los Angeles. A 12-year veteran on his 10th team, Green is also one of the few players on the roster who can say they played against Nash and assistant coaches Jacque Vaughn, Ime Udoka, Tiago Splitter and Amar’e Stoudemire before they all retired.
But Green’s big calling card is not who he knows, but what he does, in particular what he did last year, and what he can do this year. In short, he’s very versatile and at 34, he’s very experienced. Last season, under D’Antoni, he averaged 12.2 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 56/35/86 for the Rockets. It was a small sample, 18 games at 22.6 minutes per game, but D’Antoni is now running the Nets offense.
Although he played the small ball center in Houston, that role had some even more non-traditional aspect to his game. As Schiffer reports...
When D’Antoni wanted to use Harden off the ball, he ran sets that called for Green to bring the ball up and create for Harden or Westbrook. With the Rockets, Green shot 66 percent from the floor as the roll man, 45 percent as a spot-up shooter and 93 percent as a cutter, according to Synergy Sports, which rates Green as excellent in all three areas.
Green told the media recently that he has always been versatile.
“I was very effective under (D’Antoni’s) offensive influence, so hopefully they can translate here to help his team in any way possible,” Green said. “Throughout my career, no matter how many teams I’ve played with, I’ve always been somebody who’s going to be versatile, whether it’s bringing the ball up the floor, posting, playing on the perimeter, guarding one through five, I’ve done it my whole career.
“Playing the 5, it’s not really playing the position, it’s going out there and fulfilling a spot on the floor and try to find open spots to knock down shots and create opportunities for my teammates.”
The Nets of course have two 5’s, DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen, who will divide a lot of playing time, but the Nets seem to be looking at a non-traditional offense that will require a lot of movement and running ... which will require a deeper rotation. And with Nicolas Claxton out for “weeks,” according to Nash, there will be room for Green.
Green, whose Twitter handle is @unclejeffgreen, likes the fact that he has relationships, but argues that’s not all he’s about.
“Obviously, knowing a couple guys, it does make it a little easier knowing what they like to do, where they like to be on the floor, but obviously some have grown into a different role from the last time I played with them,” Green said.
- Why Jeff Green could be a low-risk, high-reward piece for the Nets this season - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York