Gerald Green Looking Forward to Bench Role

November 6, 2013

Geral Green appreciates that he played well enough in preseason and the first three regular-season games to earn Tuesday night's start in place of the injured Goran Dragic at New Orleans. But he would enjoy seeing Dragic back even more, even though Dragic's down time for a left-ankle sprain probably also will include tonight's game at San Antonio.

"I don't like him being hurt at all," Green said. "I want him to come back. I'm content with my role. I feel I can help this team if I'm coming off the bench or starting. But Goran can really help this team. Like I told you when I first got here, I'm all about winning. I don't care about stats. I don't care about playing 30 minutes. If we win, I'm happy. Once we win, everybody is going to get the same notoriety."

It is interesting that Green is a shooting guard at all, let alone the starting one. Green was in an unsettled small-forward mix in the preseason with P.J. Tucker and Marcus Morris. When all three played well, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek started using Green at off-guard and that role became more available when Shannon Brown was traded to Washington. The wing spots do not differ much, except for more ball-handling on offense and running through more screens on defense.

Green has put the "shooting" in shooting guard, sharing the team lead for 3-pointers (six) in the first two games with Tucker, and Green tied his career high with six 3s against the Pelicans on Tuesday night. When Dragic sprained his ankle early in the third quarter Sunday night at Oklahoma City, Green played 33 minutes and posted 21 points and eight rebounds. He was the first Suns player to have at least 20 points, five 3s and five rebounds in a game since Jared Dudley did it in March 2011.

"If he was struggling, maybe we'd say, 'What do we do at the two spot?'" Hornacek said. "But he's played well. He adds that shooting for us. We feel very confident when he gets a shot that he's going to make it. Defensively, he may float a little bit, but as athletic and as long as he is, he recovers on a lot of that stuff."

Green's perimeter shooting has undulated annually during his career, with last year being a down year at 31 percent from 3-point range. He and the other shooters have been given the freedom to take 3s, even an occasional undesirable one, without being chastised.

"Jeff has given me all the confidence in the world," Green said of Hornacek. "When I don't shoot, I think he gets more mad than when I do shoot."

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