Gerald Green agreed to a one-year deal with the Heat over the Summer that would pay him just over $1 million.
After playing the Heat’s first three games of the 2015-2016 season, Green missed the team’s next six games due to ‘conduct detrimental to the team.’ In his first four games back for the Heat, Green averaged a mere 5.5 points per game on a horrid shooting percentage, but over his last five games he’s been amazing for the Heat.
Luol Deng has missed the Heat’s last five games due to a hamstring injury, and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra decided to start Gerald Green in Deng’s absence. Green is averaging 13.4 points as the Heat’s starter, and after a bad defensive game versus the Detroit Pistons, Green has really picked it up, and he’s noticed it too.
“I used to talk about, ‘Man, I gotta score, I gotta get a bucket,’ and now I catch myself saying, ‘(Forget) that, we gotta get a stop.’ And that’s totally different. I’m loving the mindset.”
“I’m finding joy out of it,” he said, nearly bursting out of a chair near Miami’s practice court. “Listen, dude, I’m lovin’ this. I’m surprising myself.
On defense, opponents are taking an average of nine shots on Green, and converting just 37% of them. The Heat have had one of the best defensive team’s in the league this year, and that’s why Green’s 37% opponent field goal is 3rd on the team to forward Josh McRoberts and guard Goran Dragic.
Speaking of Dragic, him and Green were teammates for two years when Dragic was with the Suns, and he’s noticed a big improvement from Green in his Phoenix days up until now.
“Unbelievable,” Dragic said. “Here, the coaches and all the players have challenged him and you see now what he can do. He’s a huge factor for us.”
The improvement Green has seen could lead him to motivate himself to become even better, and stay with the Heat.
It appears that’s what he is hoping to do:
“I’m trying to find a home, and can’t Miami be my home?” he said. “That’s where my intentions are. So what is a Miami Heat requirement? To D-up. I know if I want to be here the rest of my career, (forget) offense. I gotta D-up. That’s where my mind is at.”
[twitter-follow screen_name='tony_montalto' show_count='yes']