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Green More Than a Dunker—He Can Play, Too

by Scott Agness

October 29, 2012

The first thought many had when the Indiana Pacers signed Gerald Green in the offseason was, "Oh, he can dunk."

Yes, he can. But there’s also whole lot more he can do—and wants to do.

"Some nights we’ll need defensive energy off the bench," Green said recently. "Sometimes we’ll need rebounding. Sometimes we’ll need other things. I just want to be the guy who doesn’t lose it, but just maintains where we are at... or take it to another level."

His teammates obviously recognize his outstanding leaping ability but his scoring off the bench and willingness to do whatever is needed also impress.

"He’s a terrific player," said Roy Hibbert, who enters his fifth season. "Coach gives him the green light whenever he’s out there with the second unit. He’s a great player for us. He shouldn’t just be labeled a dunker—he can play. He plays extremely well and I’m rooting for him as the sixth man of the year when the voting comes around."

Green shot 47-percent from the field and averaged 12.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in seven preseason games. In the Pacers Oct. 20th meeting against Memphis, when the team was without Danny Granger, David West, and George Hill, it was Green that hit a couple big shots down the stretch in a home win.

"His approach has been very professional and very driven," Coach Vogel said. "He wants to fit in with his teammates and he works extremely hard. He tries his best to play the right way, sharing the basketball and not taking bad shots, competing as hard as he can on the defensive end.

"And he just gives us a scoring punch with the second unit. Gerald has the ability to shoot the basketball and we are very encouraged with our second unit."

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