BOSTON (CBS) – When Jeff Green checked in to Tuesday night’s preseason loss to the Brooklyn Nets, it was a bit of a homecoming for the Boston Celtics forward.
It was the first time Green had stepped into a game on the TD Garden floor since May of 2011, a 94-90 Game 4 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, after missing all of last season following heart surgery.
It was no surprise Green received a big ovation from the Celtics faithful.
“The fans were amazing. I mean, there is no place like home,” he said following the 97-96 loss. “It felt great to be back.”
Green scored 14 points off the Celtics bench over 28 minutes, pulling down three rebounds. He wasn’t pleased with certain parts of his game, but led the way for Boston’s second unit, as will be expected when the regular season gets underway in just two weeks.
But the four-year forward is always looking to improve his game.
“I didn’t shoot the ball well, I felt like my defense could have been a little better,” he said humbly following his 3-for-8 showing from the floor. “Just small things I think I can improve on. I’m never satisfied.”
Jeff Green Looking For Improvement:
Green will play a pivotal role on the Celtics second team, a unit head coach Doc Rivers hopes brings some more energy and tempo to the floor as he rests his aging stars. He’s averaged 13.4 points in Boston’s five preseason games, benefitting from seeing the floor for 26 minutes a game.
Green ran the floor well on Tuesday night, as he has all preseason, and attacked the basket on the fast break, knocking down seven of his eight free throws in the contest.
“We want to get up and down the floor. We have guys that can do it; myself, Courtney (Lee), Rondo especially,” he said. “We have to use that to the best of our ability. When we get a stop, we have to get up the floor and get easy buckets.”
But with any player that missed an entire season to a heart ailment, there was a brief moment that had Celtics fans holding their collective breath. Green hit the floor hard in the third quarter, and appeared to be rolling around in pain.
Read: KG The Mentor?
He said he was fine following the tumble, but one of his biggest fans wasn’t happy he took yet another tumble in a preseason game.
“My sister was mad at me. She text me and said I need to stop falling like that; I’m going to send her to the ER and I’m making her (blood) pressure go up,” he said. “I fell like that a couple games ago and she told me the same thing.”
“I wasn’t hurt at all, I just had to take a deep breath because I heard everyone take a deep breath,” he joked. “I got up smiling and I was fine.”