9: This is the number of games in which Gerald Green had played more than 10 minutes for a team with a winning record before joining the Pacers this season. He had played in a total of 212 NBA games. All 9 of those games were played for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2008-09 season – a year where he also played a stint in the D-League before ultimately being cut.
This isn’t written to excuse Green’s poor play through the first four games of the season, only to point out that he’s being asked to do something this season that he’s never done before – play a meaningful and important role on a good team.
The kindest way to describe Green’s play so far is to say that the jury’s still out. He’s shown flashes of impressive talent, but they’ve been rare and often sandwiched between stretches of either bone-headed or tentative play. It’s been obvious to all observers that he’s been struggling mentally to cope with his new situation. This has prompted Frank Vogel to move Green to the bench in favor of Sam Young, hoping a change in role would benefit both players. In the game against San Antonio, however, the entire team was so wretchedly awful that no conclusions should be drawn from that game.
Considering today’s news that Granger will be out for 3 months, Green’s importance to the team is clear. In writing about Granger’s absence, I noted that George, Green, Young, and Stephenson needed to step up. So far, Stephenson is the only one who’s done it.
There have been signs over the last 2 games that Green is starting to snap out of his funk. He was terrible the first 2 games of the season: shooting under 30%, turning the ball over 8 times, and posting negative game scores. However, over the last 2 games, he’s been much better: shooting over 50%, turning the ball over twice, and posting game scores of 13.2 and 7.9.
Let’s hope the corner has been turned, because the Pacers will need all the help they can get for the next 3 months.
Tags: Stat O' Da Week