The Miami Heat extended their winning streak to 23 games on Monday night with a 105-103 win over the Boston Celtics, who were without forward Kevin Garnett as he deals with a left thigh strain and now the flu. Certainly a disappointing loss for the Celtics on their home floor, but they may have found another scorer.
Jeff Green started at power forward in Garnett’s place on Monday night, and he had a career-high 43 points (5-for-7 on three-pointers) along with seven rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists and two steals. 38 of his points came in the first three quarters, with 14 points in the first quarter and 12 in both the second and third quarters, but finding fault with a five-point fourth quarter is clearly missing the overall context of Green’s performance. He is now averaging 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 66 games (four starts) this season.
Green’s performance against Miami continues his recent trend of good production, as he had averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in his 13 previous games while making 47 percent of his shots from the floor over that span. Not coincidentally, that uptick in production has coincided with increased playing time, as Green has now played at least 30 minutes in six of the last seven games and at least 27 minutes in all but two of his last 21 games.
Green’s playing time and production is tied to Garnett’s status, and it looks possible Garnett will return on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets. That said, Green should be firmly on the radar of fantasy basketball owners now, and is worth owning in all leagues as a prominent player off the bench for Boston.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.