BOSTONJeff Green's rise into an impact player off the Celtics bench has been undeniable.
He's scoring. In most games, he's rebounding. He's defending at a high level.
It appears Green has finally removed the biggest obstacle in his path towards strong play -- himself. Green is playing with the kind of free-flowing style that is starting to make that four-year, 36 million contract he signed with the Celtics in the summer look more and more like a bargain.
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And C's head coach Doc Rivers is quick to acknowledge that he's not doing anything scheme-wise to free Green up any more now than earlier.
"I think Jeff is just freeing himself up," Rivers said. "He's starting to do it and it's really been good."
In Boston's last five games, Green has easily set himself apart from the rest of the Celtics backups. During that span he has scored in double figures four times while averaging 16 points and 4.2 rebounds along with shooting 54.4 percent from the field.
In the 15 games prior to that, Green averaged 7.7 points, 2.5 rebounds while shooting just 40 percent from the field.
"Jeff has just elevated his game the last couple of games, playing hard and just going at it," Celtics big man Chris Wilcox told CSNNE.com. "I was waiting to see this part of him."
So was the rest of Celtics Nation.
"I just went through a slump," Green said. "Every player goes through one. Now shots are going in for me; things are turning the corner."
And Green's play is beginning to turn heads, especially his above-the-rim game.
In Boston's 92-79 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, Green had a pair of dunks including an alley-oop from Rajon Rondo in the fourth quarter that put the Celtics ahead, 81-63 with 7:44 to play.
"I'm getting there. My bounce is getting there," Green said. "It's been a slow process but it's coming along."