Culver City Observer -

Clippers Have High Hopes For Jeff Green

 

February 25, 2016



Last week at the NBA trading deadline the Clippers acquired 6-foot-9 forward Jeff Green from Memphis.

It is being viewed as a trade that will help the Clippers because they’re finally replacing Matt Barnes, who they sent away at the start of the season.

I’ve written that the Clippers made a mistake in trading Barnes because he was both a reliable shooter from the corner and a tenacious defender.

When opponents concentrated their defense on Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Barnes would go to one corner and J.J. Redic would go to the opposite corner. Both consistently made shots and the Clippers became one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA last season.

Green is a good shooter who has been averaging 12 points per game with Memphis this season.

But that’s not the only reason this acquisition may be highly significant for the Clippers.

Earl Watson, the former UCLA star and now interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns, explains.

“If the Clippers play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs this season they can put Jeff Green on Draymond Green,” Watson said.

Translated, Watson thinks Jeff Green can do a good defensive job on Draymond Green.

If Draymond Green can be prevented from making the remarkable plays he’s been making for the Warriors Golden state’s offense might not be as effective as its been.

And this could give the Clippers a defense that might curtail the Warriors at least a little.

The teams have played three times this season. The Clippers had leads late in the first and second games and had a good chance of winning both times. In the second game they had an early 20-point lead.

They were behind almost all the way in the third meeting last Saturday at Staples Center but rallied in the second half and lost by only three points.

Jeff Green doesn’t have the defensive reputation that Draymond green has but he has the size advantage (6-9 vs, 6-6) and athletic ability that could motivate him to take on a monumental challenge.

Of course we’re getting way ahead of ourselves.

The Warriors will be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the playoffs.

The Clippers would have to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the second round before qualifying for a series against the Warriors. Or the Clippers would have to get past only one round before meeting the Warriors should the Clippers, currently No. 4 in the West standings, pass Oklahoma City for No. 3.

The Clippers are hot enough to be closing in on the Thunder and the teams have a couple of games against each other coming up.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers has a lot of confidence in Green, dating back to the years they were together in Boston.

The Clippers gave up Lance Stephenson a protected future first round draft choice for Jeff Green.

This trade definitely was made with the playoffs in mind.

 

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