Green a Dream for Suns, Nightmare for Opponents
Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks didn’t start with a breakdown on how Eric Bledsoe picks teams apart. He didn’t opt for emphasis on the lethal pick-and-pops executed by Goran Dragic and Channing Frye.
Less than two hours before tip-off at Phoenix, Brooks’ main concern was Gerald Green, a guy who is playing for his seventh NBA team in nine years.
“He has length; he has athleticism to get to the basket,” Brooks said. “He has three-point shooting. He’s always moving around looking for his shot, so we have to make sure that we always know where he is. We can’t let him get going, ‘cause once you let a guy get going, it’s hard to turn him off.”
Green has caused similar grey hairs to sprout on opposing coaches’ heads this season. For the most part, the game plan accepts the damage inflicted by Dragic and Bledsoe. They are upper echelon point guards who will get their numbers regardless of what the defense has in store.
Green is different. He is the wild-card, as capable of swinging an entire game by himself. He has proven capable of fitting within the offense for a quiet 12 points – or having the offense revolve around him as he scores 32.
The Suns know this, and have developed a sixth sense pertaining to Green’s hot streaks.
“Gerald can really light it up,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. “Our guys, when he’s going, our guys really look for him. Whether he’s filling a lane, their eyes are alert. ‘Where’s Gerald? Where’s Gerald?’”
“If I was a passer, I’d say ‘where’s Gerald’ too because I’d get an assist,” Hornacek added with a laugh.