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What was the root cause of Gerald Green's decline last season in Phoenix?

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The four fingered assassin took a step back in Phoenix last season, so we take a look at why this happened as well as how he'll function in the Heat organization.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are no strangers to player backlash, a good chunk of the Miami Heat roster is a result of that (even with the departure of Zoran Dragic). It's no secret that after suffering a limited role in a crowded offense last season, Goran Dragic spoke out against management and found a new home in Miami.

Additionally the Suns openly criticized Gerald Green last season and as a result met with some harsh words from his agent, with coach Jeff Hornacek saying:

"(Green) never really seemed to get it going and then it comes to the point where, if you’re not scoring and if your defense isn’t picking up, it’s hard to stay in the game. The next guy is going, ‘I needed help here and the guy wasn’t here.’ We’re trying to develop something for the future, not just being out here for everybody to play in the game. We want to get to a top-notch winning level and you’ve got to do it on both sides.

Currently the Suns have seemingly infuriated Markieff Morris so much that he probably won't willingly play in a Suns uniform ever again. However despite the Suns' numerous woes, the Green situation is the most interesting to analyze for Heat Nation.

Green had a career renaissance in Phoenix in the 2013-2014 season where he played 28.4 minutes a game, averaging 15.8 points, on 45% shooting and 3.4 rebounds a game. However, last season he found his playing time significantly limited and his numbers felt accordingly as he averaged just 11.8 points on 41% shooting. So the question remains if Green really fell off or was his decline just a result of hostile decision making.

There is no question that Green can still ball. If we take his 30 point performance in April against the Dallas Mavericks, for example, we can see he has the skill set to be an offensive force in the league (well behind Dwyane Wade, of course)

As made evident by the video, Green has no fear taking the shot which can be both good and bad. Put simply, if he's hot, he'll have no trouble knocking down shots, but if he's cold he'll turn into Henry Walker 2.0.

Green is also an athletic freak, meaning he has little trouble finishing in transition with a thunderous slam, or forcing himself into the key from the post for a tough layup.

What worries me about Green is his tendency to try and create three point opportunities by himself. While long dribbling periods might work against average defenders, others will have no trouble stripping Green. In the film you can also see Green celebrate a little bit too long after a made shot and get berated by one of the Suns' assistant coaches to get back on defense. It almost seems as if Green was made to battle the coaching staff to prove that he could still play, which is unhealthy for both the player and an already shaky locker room.

Thankfully, Green coming to Miami re-unites him with Dragic who is familiar with his style of play and with that can easily play to his strengths. Green didn't have a terrible season last year, but a lot of his supposed decline was a response to losing the trust of his coaching staff. With that being said, basketball is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, and for Green finding stability in the Heat organization will be very beneficial for his career.