Jeff Green gives Boston Celtics New Options

By John Raffel

Even without Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics looked like NBA title contenders Friday night, winning 113-88 against the struggling Phoenix Suns.

Garnett missed his first game this season to take a rest and Jeff Green started instead.

It was a brilliant move by Boston coach Doc Rivers.

Not only did Garnett get some needed rest but Green led the Celtics with a season-high 31 points and played like an All-Star.

The lineup for Boston was smaller and was a mismatch for Phoenix.

The emphasis was to space out the floor and for each Boston player to be away from each other, causing Sun defenders to be apart from each other, including during the transition.

Green simply could not miss. He was 11-of-14 from the floor during 38 minutes of action and 3-of-5 in three-point tries and 6-of-7 at the charity stripe. He had five blocks, two steals and seven rebounds.

Granted, the Suns are struggling in a major way but this was still an impressive performance for Green who is averaging 11 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. It was his first start of the season and coming on the road made it even more impressive.

Green was ready for a breakout game. He had scored 15 and 20 points in his previous two games from off the bench. Throughout the season, he has been delivering on a steady basis. But this performance makes one wonder if Green should be starting more often.

Sometimes, players are more effective starters than coming from off the bench. It appears Green can be effective both ways.

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