The Cavs wouldn’t be heading to their 4th straight NBA Finals appearance without Jeff Green.
Let that sink in.
For anyone who follows me on Twitter, you know my opinion of Jeff Green. For those who don’t follow me (You should – @CSTJake), I haven’t been his biggest fan, to say the least. It’s nothing personal, I’m sure he’s a great guy and he’s overcome a lot of adversity in his life, but the analytics show he’s been a problem for the Cavs on offense and defense for the vast majority of the season. Specifically, when both Tristan and Green are on the court together, which happens way more than it should.
After Kevin Love went down early in Game 6, the increased workload immediately fell on Jeff Green’s shoulders. To the dismay of myself and many others, we did not see this increase in minutes ending well for the team. I’ll happily admit we were all wrong with this prediction.
Jeff Green played crucial minutes filling in for Kevin Love in Game 6. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he made a few big plays on both ends and his clutch free throw shooting came up huge for the team at the end of the game. In Game 7, he was the team’s 2nd best player. Again, it wasn’t a perfect outing or particularly pretty by any means, but he stepped up in his 42 minutes. He finished with 19 points, 8 assists and his clutch corner three halfway through the 4th Quarter may have been the biggest shot in the game.
While these two games won’t change my opinion of Jeff Green as a player, he deserves recognition for his job filling in for the injured Kevin Love. I was completely wrong for thinking they would have to look elsewhere on the roster to cover for Love when he went down. Hopefully, Kevin Love will be fine for the Finals and Green won’t be asked to fill in like this again.