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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Green gets tutored by Garnett

Jeff Green is still a nice guy, but he’s vowing to listen to Kevin Garnett’s request that he be more of a jerk when it comes to basketball.

KG, who Monday night passed Allen Iverson for 17th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, liked what he saw from Green in Saturday’s win in Milwaukee,. ...

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Jeff Green is still a nice guy, but he’s vowing to listen to Kevin Garnett’s request that he be more of a jerk when it comes to basketball.

KG, who Monday night passed Allen Iverson for 17th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, liked what he saw from Green in Saturday’s win in Milwaukee,.

“You know, Jeff’s a really, really nice guy, and some nights, you know, you’ve just got to be an (expletive),’’ Garnett said. “You’ve got to be ... I can’t really say what I want to say, but he’s got to be that.”

Green laughed at Garnett’s choice of words, but he gets the point.

“He just wants me to be aggressive and demand respect and attack the rim – that way of being an (expletive),” said Green before playing through a mildly sprained right ankle (he stepped on Garnett’s foot while driving) and going for seven points in Monday night’s 101-95 win over the Bulls. “He’s somebody I look up to, so I take those words and I use them to help my game and move on to the next step.”

It’s not as if Green hasn’t been told this before in his career, but, he acknowledged, “It’s one thing for somebody else to say it, but for it to come from Kevin Garnett, that’s different.

“It’s just something I’ve got to do. I can’t really think about it. It’s got to be a part of how I play. You’ve just got to be aggressive, because if I’m aggressive it’ll open up things for everybody else.”

Doc Rivers believes it will happen, adding that people need to cut Green some slack after his surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

“I think the more comfortable he gets, he’ll be that,” the coach said. “I think we’ve just got to keep remembering that he took a year off, so it’s just going to take him time. I think he’s getting it. He’s got to learn where to fit and be aggressive. But I still think even if he was all that he’d still struggle. He’d be up and down right now. I don’t think you sit out a year and just come back and play great.”

Green’s wasn’t the only injury Monday night. Brandon Bass dislocated his right ring finger, but came back to hit 5 of 6 shots and score 16 points. X-rays afterward were negative.

Rhythm nation

Some of the early inconsistency for Paul Pierce can be chalked up to his altered role in the Celtics offense.

“It’s coming along,” said Pierce, who netted 10 points. “My rhythm is really coming along. It’s going to come. I’m starting to get a better rhythm, starting to understand where my shots are going to come from in the offense.

“We changed a lot of things in the offense this year. Before I probably posted up a lot more. This time I’m out on the perimeter, coming off downscreens a lot more than I have in the past.”

A major part of the change is the fact that he’s now 35.

“I just don’t think Paul is as athletic as he used to be,” said Rivers. “Where before it was great having the luxury of knowing at any time you can just swing it to Paul (and) he’ll beat his guy and score, now guys are doing a better job of staying with him, so we feel like we have to get a body off of him.

“You know, we felt that last year, but Paul didn’t feel that. Now Paul feels that, so that’s good. And he’s good at it. He’s really good at pin-downs and coming off of them, but it’s still an adjustment for him.’’

, and he’s got to get used to it.”