The Chicago Bulls have again won two consecutive games and they improved to 8-3 on the season after a 117-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center on Wednesday night. The victory was a total team effort, but makeshift power forward Javonte Green again provided a spark for his teammates.
Green had 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists including this key sequence generated by his insane bounce to corral an offensive board and finding of Lonzo Ball in one motion.
Green has made these kinds of plays the norm so far this season, and it has been especially ramped up since he replaced the injured Patrick Williams in the starting lineup.
Green is drawing raves from people all over the league. Recently, The Athletic’s John Hollinger called Green one of the players NBA fans might want to get to know.
A 6-5 forward from that mighty basketball powerhouse of Radford, he came to the NBA as a 26-year-old rookie after stops in the Spanish third division, the Italian second division and finally a EuroCup team in Germany. Nobody does this; 23-year-olds playing in the overseas equivalent of the low minors don’t pop up on NBA rosters five years later. Except Green. Green spent the bulk of two seasons in Boston lost behind a stream of quasi-interesting draft prospects at the same position, but last season’s trade to the Bulls opened some new possibilities. So far in 2021-22, he’s taken advantage. A disruptive defender who rebounds well and runs the floor, Green has steadily improved from being a total non-shooter into somebody who can knock down an open corner 3. That’s made him playable for his defense and energy, and he’s taken it from there. Green even received a battlefield promotion to the starting lineup as a badly undersized four with the loss of forward Patrick Williams for the season, but one wonders if he’ll revert to a bench role once Derrick Jones Jr. — a more natural power forward — is back up to speed. Regardless, it seems apparent Green will be a relevant player on an important team for the balance of the season. Right now, he’s anonymous enough that he could walk down Michigan Avenue in his uniform without anyone stopping him, but that seems bound to change in the coming days and weeks.
Should Derrick Jones Be Starting at PF?
You have to love Green’s moxie, athleticism and fearlessness. However, it’s not crazy to wonder if the Bulls might be a little better off starting Derrick Jones Jr. instead of Green.
DJJ began the season getting some DNP-CD’s, but ever since Williams went down, he’s been thrust into the lineup and has been producing. Over his last five games, DJJ has averaged 7.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, a block while shooting 52% from the field and a perfect 100% from the free throw line.
DJJ is a bit longer, perhaps an even more explosive leaper and just as fearless around the basket. The two would essentially be swapping roles, if Chicago keeps winning, chances are they won’t be making many changes soon.
What’s Green Best Real Position?
According to Green’s play style, he’s ideally a small forward. He doesn’t handle quite well enough to play guard, but he could project as a Tony Allen style player who can guard 1-3 on the other team without issue while using his athleticism and improving three-point shooting (.384 this season).
Perhaps the Bulls will acquire a more natural power forward which would allow them to play Green more conventionally.
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