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Paul PIerce on Jeff Green: ‘That’s the Jeff we pretty much envisioned’

Jeff Green [1] has picked a good time to show his best side.

Green had three monster slams and 17 points off the bench as the Celtics [2] beat the Magic, 97-84, Friday at TD Garden. Hours before the game, the team was informed that another player was lost for the season.

With the loss of Rajon Rondo [3] and Jared Sullinger, it was Green who took advantage of a newly-discovered spread offense. Green played aggressive and fearless defense on LeBron James [4] on Sunday against the Heat. On Wednesday, he led the Celtics over the Kings. On Friday, he was the energy force of a Celtics team that made it back to .500 at 23-23.

“You know, we’€™re spreading the floor for him which helps too,” Doc RIvers [5] said. “And that helps. But he’€™s just been aggressive. We’€™re getting the ball to him in the open court, which I think is really important for him because of his speed, the defense can’€™t set, and it gets him to the rim, which is good. Yeah, so he’€™s doing great and we’€™ve got to keep him thinking about rebounds. That’€™s important for us.’€

And when the lead shrank from 16 points to three, it was Green who again provided the spark with a one-handed jam.

‘€œYeah, and the defense obviously is what got us out on the break, and I thought that changed the game,” Rivers said. “We went small in that stretch. I got on Paul again; Paul we just want him to stay being a scorer. I think he’€™s trying to create too much right now. His scoring will create for us.’€

Courtney Lee [6] also flew to the basket for a dunk in the fourth quarter, and like Green, started from the baseline. Which dunk was better?

‘€œDefinitely mine, definitely mine,” Lee joked. “But Jeff, he soars through the air man. He does the Statue of Liberty so’€¦you can see how high he’€™s elevated, and he get his elbow off the ground when he do that. So I’€™m going to give him credit. I’€™ve seen Top 5 plays of the season, I think he was on there like 3 or 4 times so he got it.’€

‘€œIt’€™s great,” added Paul Pierce [7]. “He’€™s been very aggressive, he’€™s getting easy baskets out on the break. He’€™s been attacking the rim in the half court and that’€™s the Jeff we pretty much envisioned you know coming into the season. I think we are doing a good job of finding him in his spots. And he’€™s taking his time and really getting the job done.’€