Jeff Green: ‘Playoffs are where players are made’
|04.30.13 at 2:00 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Has Jeff Green considered that Game 5 might be the final time we see Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce in a Celtics uniform? “I have not,” Green said before Tuesday’s practice.
Kevin Garnett‘s mantra following the C’s Game 4 victory in Boston — “all out from here on out” — seems to be permeating throughout the locker room, if only because they have no other choice.
“We have to bring it,” said Green, who brings a playoff average of 20.8 points into Wednesday’s Game 5. “That’s the only way we have a chance to win the game. We’ve just got to play all out.”
The Celtics have had their share of issues against the Knicks, but Green hasn’t been one of them. He’s averaging 5.8 boards, 2.3 assists and a block per game while recording a true shooting percentage of 55.
“I’ve been working hard,” said Green. “The playoffs are where players are made, and hopefully people are starting to take notice of what I can do, but it is what it is. I know what I can do. I could care less what other people think. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m just trying to win games for my team.”
If only so he doesn’t have to answer any more questions about Garnett or Pierce.
But he’ll still have to answer plenty of questions about everything else. Here are his answers:
On Madison Square Garden: “It’s going to be very difficult with their fans behind them, but we can’t think about that too much. They don’t impact the game. We do. We’re playing, so we’ve just got make sure we do what we have to do for us to win. … It’s still a basketball court. It’s still two goals. They don’t change.”
On game 4 positives: “We attacked in transition. We just played free. We took the shot when it was there and we didn’t hesitate, and that was something we did in the first couple games. We hesitated on a lot of our shots, and when we think about the shot, we tend to be off target. I think the last game we were just free and shot when it was there, and we stayed aggressive the whole game. …
“We’re still confident. We’re still riding high from the last game. Hopefully the emotions that we had from the last game continue on to the game tomorrow and we continue to play the way we did.”
On Game 5 adjustments: “Things can change quickly. We’re just going to continue to play our game. Every approach to a game is different. I think if we continue to focus on the things that we did right the last game, we come out in New York and we’ll continue the success that we had.”
On getting KG more involved: “He’s one of our go-to guys, but he’s a smart player. He’s not going to force anything, and we know that. So, we’re going to feed him the ball and play off that.”
On J.R. Smith’s return: “He’s going to be another threat on the floor. That’s about it. We’ve just got to figure out another way to stop him. It’s a team effort. We have guys who can guard him, and we have guys who can guard Carmelo [Anthony]. They’re going to get theirs. They’re going to make tough shots, but we just need to get past that and continue to focus on what we can control.”
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