Suns’ Gerald Green’s 41-Point Outburst Mashed Up with NBA Jam Effects

Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green’s 41-point outburst against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 6 was so good that it looked like it was part of a video game.

The seventh-year player made eight of his 13 three-point attempts and shot 54.5 percent from the floor on the night. Those numbers are worthy of getting the NBA Jam treatment.

Green’s 41 points were enough to help the Suns pull out a 128-122 victory over the Thunder.

[Phoenix Suns, h/t Next Impulse Sports]

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Gerald Henderson’s Missed Dunk Hilariously Finds Itself on Craigslist ‘Missed Connections’

Gerald Henderson of the Bobcats had a big missed dunk recently, and that is no big deal. It happens to every player in the NBA, and it is actually something that I hope I will be lucky enough to experience one day. Here is a .GIF of the dunk that almost was…
Nothing special, right? Correct. That is until someone took to Craigslist in Charlotte and orchestrated one of the better posts in the ‘Missed Connections’ section you will ever read. Some people have way too much time on their hands.  [CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE]

[Great find (or placement) by Grantland]
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

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WATCH: Gerald Green with a sick dunk over Mason Plumlee

Gerald Green is widely known around the NBA as being a top five dunker, and on Monday night he furthered that notion. En route to a 17-point performance off the bench (since Eric Bledsoe is back now), Green threw down this ridiculously insane double-clutch dunk over and around Mason Plumlee. Mason’s brother, Miles, coincidentally was the one who got the assist on the play. I’m sure Mason will hear about that many times in the future. [NBA's Instagram] The post Gerald Green Throws Down Incredible Dunk Over and Around Mason Plumlee appeared first on Diehardsport.

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Gerald Green Throws Down Filthy Fast-Break Dunk Versus Brooklyn Nets

Judging by Gerald Green‘s ridiculous fast-break dunk in a Monday night showdown with the Brooklyn Nets, the Phoenix Suns‘ slam-happy wingman is giving a whole new meaning to career renaissance—as in, this sucker was so beautiful it would’ve made Leonardo da Vinci blush. 

Watch it again. That’s a double-clutch over a very tall defender in traffic.

Never change, Gerald.

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How Gerald Green Went from NBA Bust to Key Cog for Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns hyper-athletic wing Gerald Green has not only shed his label as “just a dunker” during his first year in the Valley of the Sun, but he’s also reinvented his NBA career by becoming a reliable rotational guy and all-around player.

When General Manager Ryan McDonough traded veteran power forward Luis Scola to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Green, Miles Plumlee and a protected first-round draft pick, the deal was seen as one more step toward a potentially lengthy rebuild.

At the time, the Suns were stockpiling picks with the vision of revamping the roster through the draft or by acquiring a big-name star via trade (h/t NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper).

Indy appeared to be short-term winners of the swap, even prompting headlines like, “With Luis Scola, the Pacers might have the best team in the East” (h/t SB Nation’s Tom Ziller).

Green and Plumlee were seen as afterthoughts—throw-in pieces needed to make the deal work financially for both sides. As it stands, however, both Suns acquisitions have broken out under head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Green has played every game for the Suns (including 46 starts) and is averaging 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game—all of those numbers are career highs.

Plumlee, an NBA sophomore, is notching averages of 8.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest.

Scola, meanwhile, has sputtered with Indiana by averaging 7.4 points, five rebounds and 0.9 assists while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor (all career lows).

The trade has become grossly one-sided in Phoenix’s favor with added foresight. Against all odds, the upstart Suns are competing for a playoff berth in the loaded Western Conference. Consistent play from Green has been one of the biggest reasons for the turnaround.

 

Maturity/Consistency

Green came to Phoenix knowing the opportunity to carve a niche could very well be his last. He had already spent stints of his playing career with the NBA D-League as well as overseas in Russia and China.

At 28 years old, the time to prove his chops as an NBA talent was running out. The wisdom he gained during a roller coaster playing career, however, prepared him mentally for that challenge.

Green said the following, according to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn:

When you go places in life that you think you’ll never go, you change a little bit. You mature a lot faster. I knew something had to change. It either was going to be me or I wasn’t going to be back in the league. That made it an easy decision for me to change. Two years ago, I was nowhere to be found. Now I’m older, more mature, understand that this is not a hobby, this is a job.

While playing a career-high 29.1 minutes per game with Phoenix during the 2013-14 campaign—and starting 20 more games than his previous career high of 26 in 2006-07 with the Boston Celtics—Green has reached the 20-point plateau 20 times.

The Suns have compiled a 14-6 record when “The Green Machine” scores at least 20. His offensive output has been a huge barometer to team success.

When point guard Eric Bledsoe was sidelined indefinitely following knee surgery—a variable that cast some doubt on Phoenix’s playoff chances—Green stepped up in a big way. He’s averaging 17.3 points per game as a starter, according to NBA.com.

 

Three-Point Shooting

While Green is still a high flyer who can swing momentum with thunderous highlight dunks, his prowess from beyond the arc in 2013-14 has taken his game to another level.

According to NBA.com, Green’s percentages are comparable to or above league average from every long-range location on the court.

He’s shooting 40 percent from deep at the top of the key and 50 percent from the left corner.

Additionally, Green is shooting 39.7 percent on catch-and-shoot threes and 38.3 percent on pull-up attempts from distance, per NBA.com.

He’s made five or more three-pointers in a game 11 times and is shooting a scorching hot 46.7 percent from deep in March (through eight games).

His ability to spread the floor on offense around the dribble penetration of Goran Dragic and Bledsoe has made the Suns’ offense a dynamic force.

 

Coaching

There’s no question that Green has always possessed the transcendent athletic ability needed to compete with NBA stars, but he hasn’t made a meaningful impact in the pros until now. That’s partly due to his maturity at age 28, but his emergence wouldn’t have occurred without Coach Hornacek.

“The coaches have really done a great job of putting us in places to be successful,” Green said, per AZ Central Sports’ Paul Coro. “Everybody gets an opportunity to go out there and play. Jeff has confidence in everybody. A lot of coaches don’t do that. He’s just so positive and has so much energy and faith in us.”

Green’s relationship with Hornacek is a stark contrast to the one he had with former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, if only because he was a youngster making the leap from high school to the pros.

“Yeah, he was [tough on me], but if I knew then what I know now, the things that Doc was telling me were all the right things,” Green said, per Washburn. “He wasn’t telling me nothing that was incorrect. All Doc was trying to do was help me and I just didn’t understand the fact … I just didn’t know how to be a pro.”

The swingman experienced a tumultuous, winding journey as a professional, but it appears he’s finally found the perfect situation.

Behind his calm demeanor, positive attitude and confidence in a variety of role players who have never played big minutes before, Hornacek is a calculated X’s and O’s guy.

According to CBS Sports’ Matt Moore, the first-year head coach said the following earlier this season:

We’ve given the point guards the shot charts to look (at). We’ll tell them in transition, “Let the guys get set before you throw it to them.” It’s been shown that if they’re on the run, the percentage goes way down. So if you know Gerald Green shoots a high percentage from the corner, wait till he gets all the way down there and gets set.

Green’s confidence to let the ball fly from downtown is merely one factor at play. Coach Hornacek has put all of his players in a favorable role because of a specific system.

Moore broke it down as follows:

These things seem simple, but that’s kind of the beauty of what Hornacek is accomplishing. He’s using advanced analysis to reinforce a pragmatic coaching style that resonates with the players. Put guys into a position to succeed, give them confidence, encourage them to make the right play, and leave the more complex elements to the coaching staff.

With 16 regular-season games remaining in 2013-14 (including the March 17 matchup with the Brooklyn Nets), Phoenix is fighting to get back into the playoff picture. Prior to the game against Brooklyn, the Suns are one game back of the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.

Of course, regardless of whether the Suns earn a playoff berth at season’s end, fans can be proud of what this roster has accomplished.

In the face of basement-level expectations, Hornacek’s crew rallied and put the league on notice by winning consistently and beating elite teams (like the Indiana Pacers—twice).

The experience and confidence Green and other players have gained during 2013-14 points to a bright future in the desert. Thanks to player development under Coach Hornacek, the Suns are well on their way to becoming a Western Conference power once again.

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Suns’ Gerald Green: I love this team

ust twelve short days ago the Phoenix Suns were the 7th seed in the Western Conference and only trailing the 6th seeded Golden State Warriors by one game. Times have changed since then for Phoenix.

The Suns had lost seven of their last 11 games before beating the Toronto Raptors on Sunday 121-113. Phoenix is now on the outside of the playoffs looking to get back in.

Apparently, guard/forward Gerald Green wouldn’t have it any other way. He was recently quoted after the Raptors game as saying he loves the way his team is playing right now.

“We’re just trying to finish this road trip on a great note. We feel like we didn’t play the way we wanted to in Boston [Friday night] but came away with the win. Tonight I just wanted to be aggressive; I’ve felt the last two games I’ve kind of been floating. My teammates have had confidence in me all year so it’s easy to go out there and play when you have a group of guys who believe in you. I love this team and I love the way we’re playi…

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Struggling Suns to start Eric Bledsoe, bring Gerald Green off bench

Phoenix has to turn things around. Fast. The team is 3-7 in their last 10 and in the deep Western Conference that spells trouble — they have tumbled out of the playoffs and now are two games back of Memphis and Dallas in trying to get the last ticket to the postseason dance.

Jeff Hornacek is hoping Eric Bledsoe is the answer.

Bledsoe returned to the Suns lineup Wednesday after missing more than eight weeks and already Hornacek is putting him in the starting lineup.

Green has played well in a starters role, but the Suns have to do something.

Phoenix’s defense has been its biggest problem, giving up 9 more points per 100 possessions in its last 10 games than its season average. They are still running and scoring, they just are not getting stops.

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Gerald Green’s career-high 41 rallies Suns past Thunder

Green scored 25 in the third with six 3s as Phoenix overcame a 16-point deficit.

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Gerald Green’s 41-Point Night and Huge Month Prove He’s Finally Worth the Hype

The Phoenix Suns—Cinderellas of the NBA—played a game worthy of March Madness on Thursday night. Facing the favored Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix fell down by 16 points in the third quarter. A loss would drop them into a three-way tie in the loss column with the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies for the last two playoff spots. They needed a miracle.

They got Gerald Green.

The athletic shooting guard went nuclear in the third, scoring 25 points as Phoenix closed the quarter with an astonishing 14-0 run. Green finished with a career-high 41 points in a 128-122 Suns victory.

His eight three-pointers were one off the franchise record, and he came within a missed third-quarter free throw of matching the team record for points in a quarter. The win marked the end of a franchise-worst 11-game losing streak to the Thunder. 

Thursday’s game was not only the culmination of a brilliant recent stretch for Green—he’s averaging 23.3 points, a 47.7 field-goal percentage and a 44.0 three-point percentage over his last 12 gamesit was also the high point in what has been an comeback season for the ages.

Green is averaging career highs in just about every category. TNT basketball personalities Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith mentioned him (along with teammate Goran Dragic) as a front-runner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year award during Thursday’s broadcast. 

Just how much better has the six-year veteran been this season? Per NBA Stats:

Green was considered an elite prospect after earning McDonald’s All-American honors and declaring for the draft out of high school. But his career quickly turned into a cautionary tale for any raw, young athlete looking to go pro too soon.

Now, not only has Green found a home with this surprising Suns squad, he has transformed himself into a player that could shake up the Western Conference playoff race.

 

An Odyssey to the Desert

The Boston Celtics must have been thrilled when they picked Gerald Green with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2005 draft. Picking outside of the lottery, they still got their hands on perhaps the most elite athlete in the entire class.

Green was a 6’8″ hybrid shooting guard/small forward with nearly unparalleled leaping ability. All Boston had to do was harness the potential of the callow 20-year-old, and they would have the steal of the draft.

But it was not to be. Following his second season in Boston, the Celtics included him in the package used to acquire Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the summer of 2007. Green would last half a season in Minnesota before being traded to the Houston Rockets in a Feb. 2008 deadline deal. He played one game in Houston before being waived.

No longer desired by NBA teams, Green played two seasons in Russia from 2009-2011. His big second chance in America came when he convinced the dreadful 2011-12 New Jersey Nets to offer him a 10-day contract. He impressed the Nets enough to earn a contract for the rest of the season, and he averaged a career-high 12.9 points in 31 games.

That audition was enough to earn Green a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Indiana Pacers. But Green struggled mightily coming off the bench in Indiana during 2012-13, and the team happily included him in a deal to get former Suns big man Luis Scola.

During the preseason, Valley of the Suns’ Ryan Weisert classified Phoenix’s new acquisition as an athletically gifted enigma:

Why Green has failed to find himself as a player is a difficult question to answer. Teams see his unlimited athleticism and rightly believe he could be a huge asset. But no team or coach has really been able to harness his incredible athletic ability and put it to consistent use. Whether his limitation has been physical or mental is anyone’s guess. 

Looking back, that trade of Green, Miles Plumlee and a first-rounder for Scola now looks like an absolute steal for Phoenix.

 

The Hornacek Effect

There are several reasons Suns coach Jeff Hornacek deserves to be on the short list for the Coach of the Year award. He has taken a team that finished last season with the second-most losses in franchise history to the verge of the playoffs in a tough Western Conference. He has turned Goran Dragic into a bona fide star.

But the job he has done with Gerald Green might be his most impressive work of all. Hornacek was effusive in his praise for Green after Thursday’s win, per NBA.com’s Bob Baum

I love the way he’s playing right now. We knew he could shoot the ball. There’s not too many guys that can get on a roll like that. The thing that makes him unique (is) some guys you can get up into and maybe challenge a shot a little harder. But Gerald just jumps over everybody. He’s making shots that other guys can’t get that high to shoot.

With all due respect, Mr. Hornacek, not everybody knew he could shoot. Green shot just 36.6 percent from the field last season, which was the fourth-worst mark in the league for players with at least 1000 minutes, per Basketball-Reference. He had had good shooting stretches during his career, but he hadn’t put together an efficient shooting line while playing regular minutes throughout an entire season.

Until now. Green is shooting a more-than-respectable 44.3 percent from the field (38.9 percent from three) while averaging 15.6 on the season. 

But Green might find himself back on the bench, as starting guard Eric Bledsoe is slated to return next week, per the Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro. Green began the season backing up Bledsoe, who underwent knee surgery in late December. 

Chemistry is key for the Suns, who are locked in a tight battle for one of the last two playoff spots with a pair of veteran teams in Dallas and Memphis. Perhaps Bledsoe should be relegated to the bench, at least until he regains his early-season form.

Regardless of whether or not he continues to start, Gerald Green will continue to be a key player for the Phoenix Suns. 

They will need Green to keep up his inspired recent play in any role if they are to complete this incredible run to the postseason.

 

* All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

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Gerald Wallace Injury: Updates on Celtics Forward’s Meniscus and Recovery

A tough season for the Boston Celtics won’t get any easier Friday, as the team announced forward Gerald Wallace will be out indefinitely.

From the team’s official Twitter account:

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has more:

Wallace hasn’t exactly lit it up for the Celtics this season, averaging just 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. At his current pace, the 31-year-old would see his points per game decline for a fourth straight season.

That’s particularly rough for the Celtics, as they are paying him $10,105,855 this season, according to ESPN, and he still has three years remaining on his contract. In fact, Bill Simmons of Grantland named Wallace’s contract as the second-worst in the NBA, behind only Amar’e Stoudemire.

ESPN Boston has more on how the Celtics wound up with his contract, and what they might do with it in the future:

The Celtics took on Wallace’s deal in order to facilitate the summer blockbuster that delivered three first-round picks from the Brooklyn Nets. The question now is whether the Celtics are content to ride out Wallace’s deal, or if they’d take measures to shed his cap clog sooner (would Boston use that stockpile of draft picks to entice another team to take on the bad deal?) 

At one point in his career, Wallace was a steady producer. From 2004 to 2012, he averaged double-digit points every season. His best season came in 2010-11 for the Charlotte Bobcats, when he averaged 18.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

But with the Celtics in rebuilding move, it would hardly be shocking if they looked to move his contract. They have two first-round picks this summer (three if the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t in the lottery, which they will be), two in 2015 (three if the Sixers aren’t in the lottery) and two in 2016.

If the Celtics are willing to part with any of those picks, they may be able to part with Wallace’s big contract as well. We may not see Wallace in a Celtics jersey again.

 

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