With their playoff lives hanging in the balance, the Boston Celtics are turning to Gerald Green.
Seeking a spark after his team dropped the first two games of their first-round NBA playoff series, Celtics coach Brad Stevens announced Green would start Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, replacing Amir Johnson.
To say this decision came as a surprise would be an understatement. Why? Well, for starters, Green hasn’t started a game since April 2, 2016, when he was a member of the Miami Heat. He’s also played just six total minutes in this series, including zero in Game 2.
What’s more, Friday’s starting lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Green, Jae Crowder and Al Horford has played fewer than 20 minutes all season.
It’s also worth noting that Green got the nod over Jaylen Brown, the promising rookie who started 20 games during the regular season
Regardless, some sort of change was necessary after the Celtics were embarrassed on their home floor in Game 2, losing 111-97. Boston also lost Game 2 106-102 at TD Garden and is in grave danger of becoming the sixth No. 1 seed in NBA history to lose to a No. 8 seed.
The Celtics did catch a break earlier Friday, however, with the announcement that Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo will be out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo turned back the clock against his former team in Games 1 and 2, averaging 11.5 points, 10 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals as “National TV Rondo” made his triumphant return to the spotlight.
Green, who spent one season as Rondo’s teammate in 2006-07, played in 47 games for Boston this season as he began his second stint with the C’s. The 31-year-old wing shot 40.9 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from 3-point range, averaging 5.6 points and 11.4 minutes per game.
Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images