Gerald Green excited to play against Pacers

Posted by on January 21st, 4:55 pm

PHOENIX — The media contingent at Suns practice on Tuesday was a little deeper than usual.

The leading storyline that pushed ESPN to pick up the game midseason is of course the trade that sent Luis Scola to the Pacers for Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a lottery protected first-round pick in 2014. The deal has been important to the Pacers, who have Scola stabilizing the frontcourt by adding 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game off the bench.

But it is the Suns (23-17) viewed as the winners of the trade thanks to the contributions Green and Plumlee have made. Suns coach Jeff Hornacek does not believe this is a .500 team without them.

“I wouldn’t think so,” Hornacek said. “Miles and Gerald have been huge for us, and they’ve helped us win many games with the style we play, Miles rolling to the basket and Gerald shooting threes. We would be well under .500 without them.”

Green has been able to get his career back on track with Hornacek’s leniency of his shot selection. He is averaging more than 13 points a game and is relied upon to score even more than he was while coming off the bench now that he is starting in place for Eric Bledsoe.

“Everyone is pumped up. We had a great practice and everyone is locked in,” Green said. “We understand the urgency we need to have to protect home court.”

There was a general sense that Green was unhappy with his stint in Indiana last year, but he said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I don’t know how you can be unhappy being one game away from the NBA Finals,” Green said. “I was not mad at all and would have been fine if I was giving people water.”

The other piece of the trade, Plumlee, only played in 14 games with the Pacers last season, but has been a difference-maker for the Suns at the center position by averaging more than nine points and eight rebounds a game. Hornacek is not surprised with the contributions made from either of the two players.

“We knew what these guys can do,” Hornacek said. “They are not new players, Ryan (McDonough) saw them in college and I saw them in pre-draft workouts.

“Gerald has been in the league and it hasn’t been a surprise what they do. It’s just how they fit for what we do.”

Eric Bledsoe update:

Bledsoe spoke after practice on Tuesday and said he is in the beginning stages of his rehab. He has not began to run or jump and did not give a timetable for his return. He reiterated multiple times that he is taking it slow and wants to get back to 100 percent.

Jeffrey Sanders

Jeffrey Sanders is a ValleyoftheSuns staff writer currently working toward his degree in broadcast journalism at Arizona State University. He is also involved in on-campus groups, such as the Blaze 1330 AM and CronkiteSports.com.

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Tags: Gerald Green · Indiana Pacers · Jeff Hornacek · Luis Scola · Miles Plumlee

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 EBJM // Jan 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    The trade speaks volumes of how deep the Pacers are if they could give away Plumlee and Green who couldn’t crack a deep rotation while Scola’s game fits right in and he became a rotation player for them.

    Scola does something that neither Miles or Mahinmi can do, shoot the ball.

  • 2 foreveris2long // Jan 22, 2014 at 4:01 am

    I said before the season started if either Green or Plumlee exceeded expectations, my 18-20 game win prediction would be exceeded. Both of these guys have wildly exceeded expectations and the Suns are killing the so-called experts predictions that we would likely be a top 5 lottery pick. Great foresight by McD bringing in great athletes with an excellent attitude and work ethic.

    As for Bledsoe’s removal of a piece of his meniscus in the right knee, guess who had his damaged meniscus completely removed in 2010? Yep you guessed it, the best point guard in the league today, Chris Paul. I am not certain how good Bledsoe will be but having just turned 24 with the rare ability to penetrate at will a lot like Paul and is a very good defender, you just do not give up on guys like that as they are not that common. I hope he takes whatever time is necessary to make a complete recovery and the Suns keep him.

    This game will be a really good education for the Suns tonight. It will show them the distance between them and a real championship contender. While I think the Clippers are a championship contender, they are on the perimeter whereas Miami (when healthy), Indiana and OKC are the 3 likely favorites. Hope Len gets some quality time against the big boys tonight. It should be a fun game on national tv.

  • 3 john // Jan 22, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Sidenote about KD and James since you brought up the true championship contenders, forever (and I would also throw SAS & GSW-when-they’re-hot in there as dark horses)…

    Has KD made the leap? Check out the numbers. A very solid argument can be made from any perspective that Durant is actually playing better ball than James. He’s averaging 31/8/5 on 50/41/88 shooting in the traditional categories compared to James’ 26/7/7 on 58/37/76 shooting. In WS48/PER Durant is at a staggering 0.329/30.9 while James is at 0.27/28.9.

    I’m not saying James isn’t still all-world, and I would still consider him the best in the world until Durant does this for an entire season… but for the first time in about 7 years, I actually believe there might be a better basketball player on earth than LeBron James.

  • 4 Foreveris2long // Jan 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

    John, I agree with you 100% about Durant. He has become a beast. I cannot believe someone 6’10″ has his handles and explosion to the basket. His jump shot is deadly. He got angry last night regarding a non-call and went crazy
    late in the game to seal it for the Thunder. I do not know if he is better yet but considering his age I think he will be the best in the NBA within a year or so. He is so much fun to watch.

    Regarding championship contenders, the problem I am having with the Spurs is they are having a really difficult time beating the good teams in the league. However with Pop as the coach and everyone returning with an additional shooter, they should be included as a championship contender. What continues to concern me about the Warriors is the lack of a good backup point guard. Last season J. Jack was so good it allowed Curry to play the 2 spot a lot.

  • 5 BCrayZ // Jan 22, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Will GG14 start again in tonight’s game?

    Jeff may be partial to him because he wears his old number.

    Luis wore that number last year & may be out to show the Suns that he’s still capable of playing the game. Will hope that Jeff gives Gogi a break by pairing him with Barbosa (beep beep.) They are dynamite together & our best shot at winning the game. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • 6 hawki // Jan 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I’ve always thought Durant was as good as LeBron or at least very close…not like James was head & shoulders better like sometimes portrayed in the media.

    53 days until “Selection Sunday”
    Warren Buffett has offered $ 1 Billion to anyone who fills out a Perfect Bracket.

  • 7 john // Jan 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I’m about to be a billionaire. If I win, I’ll buy Suns season tickets for a year for anyone who posts on this thread.

  • 8 hawki // Jan 22, 2014 at 11:53 am

    In addition, Buffett is offering $100,000 to the top 20 best brackets that aren’t perfect.

    Might have to be part of Facebook….not sure.

  • 9 Foreveris2long // Jan 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Hawki, I think the $100,000 is conditional subject to the money being used to purchase or refinance a home. Then again I am not sure why you need $100,000 to refinance a loan but who am I to question Mr. Buffett. Maybe I misread it.

  • 10 Jeff // Jan 22, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    season tickets aye

  • 11 hawki // Jan 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Forever….yea sucks he won’t give 100K cash…but I’ll take a 100K Townhouse or something….anything better than this little apt I have now.

    ps….limited to 1st 10 Million entrants…..wow….top 20 out of 10 Million ?
    Have to get REAL lucky.

  • 12 EBJM // Jan 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Forever, nice research on Chris Paul. Of note is that the same surgeon repaired Bledoe’s meniscus the 1st time and he also removed Paul’s meniscus.

    Additionally, Paul missed 37 games after the surgery and then it was determined he attempted to come back too soon. He returned to rehabbing the knee the rest of the summer. So basically he missed th eAll-star game and the remainder of the season.

    He started the following season wearing a bulky knee brace that remained until about the mid-point of the season.

    So your sample size is ’11-’12, ’12-’13 and the current season. Clippers re-signed him to a max in the summer of ’13. So if Chris Paul is still an All-Star in ’17-’18 when they will be paying him $24 million, I’d agree it would be worth the risk to over-pay Bledsoe instead of making a run at Lance Stephenson.

  • 13 Bandwagon Fan // Jan 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Clarification of Buffet’s Billion

    This is actually a contest that is being put together by Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans and is being insured by Buffet’s Birkshire Hathaway.

    Chances of winning? 1 in 4,294,967,296. Might as well play the lottery.

    This is why the $100,000 is tied to home loans. There is also some money that goes to charity.

    http://www.cleveland.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/01/dan_gilberts_quicken_loans_giv.html

  • 14 john // Jan 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    @Bandwagon

    So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance?

    YYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  • 15 Bandwagon Fan // Jan 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    LOL @ John

  • 16 Foreveris2long // Jan 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks EBJM. I could be wrong but I think somewhere someone said Gambo commented or thought Bledsoe would only be out four weeks since the meniscus was removed instead of repaired. I definitely think that is an overly optimistic opinion and Paul missing at least 37 games is more realistic.

    Unless Bledsoe feels 100% physically and can trust it mentally, if I was his agent I would tell him to shut it down the rest of the year.What a lot of people do not seem to understand is even when he receives medical clearance, until you trust it 100% you overcompensate and burden your non-surgical leg or you use your back more than you should.

    Tough call on Bledsoe but this was excellent dialogue. I did not know Bledsoe’s 1st surgeon was with the same doctor who removed Paul’s lateral meniscus.

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