Gerald Green has always been a freakishly athletic player. Will Miami be his saving grace?
In the 2005 McDonald's All-American game he scored 24 points playing alongside Mario Chalmers. A backcourt of Chalmers with Green would certainly be either be a blessing or a nightmare, and most definitely perplexing.
A DraftExpress review of Gerald Green in 2008 sums up his situation fairly accurately, "He opened the game with a picture perfect catch and shoot three, followed by a handful of ill-advised shots from the outside that were either well defended or off balance .... Whether or not he gets to do that with an NBA contract may come down to how well he performs in whatever training camp he lands in."
Having Goran Dragic and Amar'e Stoudemire in the Miami Heat training camp, Green will feel more comfortable performing with people that know the Phoenix Suns system. As he put it regarding a previous summer, "I was just in a tough situation in the off-season. I didn't go to anybody's training camp, which was the worst mistake of my life I think."
Make no bones about it, being thrown into a men's locker room cold-turkey is not the easiest task in the world to handle. For Dragic, Stoudemire, Green, Keith Benson, Corey Hawkins, Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside, Greg Whittington, Justise Winslow, this will be their first training camp together and a chance to start the season off mentally and physically prepared.
As an article on Green wrote, "That little part about the fact that the Suns got 6.3 points worse with Gerald on the court? The part about him being lost defensively? The part about him seemingly going rogue, ignoring coach Hornacek's instruction? It's always been that Green does enough of this to make his deficiencies get swept under the rug...
Past the starting five, the Heat this season have a team that could consist of Chalmers at point guard, Green at shooting guard, McRoberts at point forward, Stoudemire at power forward, and Chris Andersen at center. Together they may very well be a starting five for other teams. With rotation players such as them, plus Udonis Haslem, Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson ready to step in as needed, the ability of the Heat team to endure the entire season relatively healthy seems promising. Last season was a lesson, not to be repeated, of how injuries can destroy the best-laid plans of the coaches.
In addition the Heat will need to figure out where to place Winslow. At 19, Winslow said his goal was to build strength not muscle. The ultimate prize in the long term, for a very young player, is to be as durable as LeBron James has been in his career. All-stars like Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving have been disappointments lately after brilliant starts to their careers, only because of debilitating leg injuries. Even with his well-publicized health issues, Dwyane Wade is still an all-star after 12 seasons and may play more games than Kyrie Irving. Durability does matter for the team's sake to stay out of the lottery.
A trio of Green, Dragic and Stoudemire together on the court would be a treat to watch since they are all former Phoenix Suns and know their roles. At 6'-8" and 208 pounds Gerald Green is versatile enough to be either a shooting guard or small forward. A look at his career stats show exactly his strengths and weaknesses.
His high free-throw and 3-point shooting percentages demonstrate he is an excellent shooter. But his subpar FG% shows poor shot selection. And having more turnovers than assists suggests he is unreliable in making the right call when he has the ball in his hands. Green and Chalmers would make an interesting backcourt together due to their inconsistent play.
The Heat this training camp have an overflowing pool of talent that could possibly win up to 60 games if everyone stays healthy. Durability and going past an eight-player rotation so as not to overwork any one player's body will be the key to their success. Gerald Green with his athletic ability and shooting prowess will be a big part of the picture.