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News » OKC's Mr. Versatility

OKC's Mr. Versatility

OKC's Mr. VersatilityJeff Green's value can be measured by the company he keeps. Only nine NBA players averaged at least 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal last season.

Green, the Thunder's versatile forward, was one of them.

The others? LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler, LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace and Carlos Boozer.

Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, "He thinks and plays the game well in so many areas."

Now in his third season, Green has gone from being inefficient and limited to one of the league's best young hybrids.

He's a small forward being asked to play power forward. He'll guard 7-footer Pau Gasol in the post on one possession and Ron Artest at the 3-point arc on the next.

For that reason, Green's abilities are just as vital as Durant's to the Thunder's success this season.

"It's all a part of growing up, trying to be where I want to be as far as being a leader," Green said. "This is just one step to me getting to that point."

Green said defending Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka every day in practice has helped.

"Over time I've become more comfortable with it," he said. "And going into summers, that's been my mindset, getting better and working hard at guarding those three positions and getting better."

On offense, he'll be trying to exploit mismatches by hitting perimeter shots over bigger power forwards, taking slower players off the dribble and posting up smaller defenders.

"He's really going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of teams," Thunder center Etan Thomas said.



→Ready...: Jeff Green returned for his second season a better player across the board. His efficiency went up and his turnovers remained virtually the same despite more minutes. Two career-highs illustrated his versatility: He hit five 3-pointers against Memphis in January and grabbed 15 rebounds three weeks later against Golden State.

→... or not: Green struggles to defend elite power forwards and, because of size mismatches, may never be able to. His rebounding is also just average for the power forward position.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 27, 2009


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