Gerald Green long has had a knack for thriving in the transition game. The past two games have provided a different, but welcome, spin on that staple.
After an uneven run as an injury replacement in the starting lineup for Luol Deng, Green quickly has gotten back to speed in his anticipated role as a spark off the Miami Heat's bench.
Over the past two games, victories in the wake of a three-game losing streak, the energetic swingman has scored 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting.
"Lu being back is helping us out. Defensively he's a pest. Offensively, he can score against anybody. And he's smart," Green said, as the Heat turned their attention to the game tonight against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center at the conclusion of this two-game trip. "And with me, it kind of puts me in a comfortable role, back to my role where I can just come in, be aggressive, still have the same defensive intensity. It's been helping us out."
Unlike as a starter, a role where there has to be concessions to the offensive games of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, the sixth-man assignment allows Green to play with eyes on the rim.
His contributions have been critical in the fourth quarters of each of the past two games, with three crucial free throws when fouled on a 3-pointer late in Sunday's 100-97 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, and then with his 11 fourth-quarter points in Monday's 100-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
"My teammates are so good," Green said. "They gave me the ball. They let me go to work. All I go to do is smile, crack some jokes a couple of times, shoot the shots, play defense. I've got the easiest job in the world right now."
And after missing six games with a slightly strained left hamstring and then playing his first game back off the bench, Deng again is quietly going about his work, with 18 points and nine rebounds in Monday's victory.
"That's ideal for us," Wade said. "You got G and Lu getting shots that they want in their rhythm, Chris and myself touching the ball a lot, getting our shots, and Hassan rebounding the ball, protecting the paint, as well, with three blocks.
"I mean that's what we'd love to get to every night. Obviously we can't. We would love to get to that game every night. That's a successful game for us, keep everybody happy. And it makes everybody want to work hard on the defensive end of the floor."
The Heat on Tuesday recalled forward Jarnell Stokes from their NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Stokes has appeared in seven games (all starts) in two stints with the Skyforce this season, helping them to a 6-1 record. He has averaged 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.29 steals and 1.14 blocks in 29 minutes per game with the Skyforce.
At .659 from the field, Stokes stood second in field-goal percentage in the D-League at the time of his recall.
He is scheduled to be with the Heat for the game tonight in Brooklyn.
Strokes was acquired along with guard Beno Udrih in the November trade that sent guard Mario Chalmers and forward James Ennis to Memphis. He was the lone player from that transaction not at AmericanAirlines Arena on Sunday night when the Heat faced the Grizzlies. Like Stokes, Ennis has had multiple shifts from the Grizzlies' D-League team since the trade.