DENVER – Javonte Green isn’t just trying to temper opposing players with authority, he wants to put them on a prayer list.
It’s been on display all season.
But that same aggressiveness he displays when he gets on the rim is also how he likes to play on defense. Even more impressive, the one the 6-foot-5 forward is called upon to defend.
Green, along with Derrick Jones Jr., are two wings who spent a good chunk of the road trip not only guarding opposing wings and guards, but crosses as well.
“Basketball without position, right?” Green said on Friday, explaining why he took on the challenge. “It’s our job. We are not here to stop anyone completely. We’re here to do our part to make life difficult [opposing bigs] while [Nikola Vucevic] is outside. It allows our other guys to have an easier job on the offensive side.
“We’re just trying to slow down the big guys from the other side, wear them down a bit as the game progresses, so maybe it will be easier for us in the fourth quarter. We think we’re a very well conditioned team so we’re trying to tire the guys out. ”
Green’s importance on the defensive cannot be understated. While Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball are the headliners on the defensive side, and rightly so, Green is one of those defensive players who do the dirty work just because of who he’s been asked to keep.
All-Star Zach LaVine once again praised Green last week, pointing out the energy he brings to the ground and, in Green’s eyes, that means the mission is accomplished so far.
“It has always been my role. Just bring the energy, ”Green said. “That’s what the coach wants from me. Bring it on both sides of the ball, and I’m proud of it. ”
Any other things he’s proud of? Green buys most of the shoes he wears on the court, and he wasn’t able to dunk until his freshman year in high school, so he finds it necessary to make up for lost time.
“Since I could dunk, that’s what I’m trying to do,” Green said. “I still think the dunks bring that electricity. I only started dunking in the first year of high school. I’m not going to say everyone around me was soaking, but I felt late. So once I started soaking I just didn’t want to stop. I’m trying to soak everything. ”
What will get interesting is the kind of minutes Green will get when Vucevic returns?
Tony Bradley will return to the bench, but will Green return to his starting role against Alex Caruso? Billy Donovan wasn’t ready to tackle this, particularly with some uncertainty about when Vucevic will step out of the health and safety protocol.
Green insisted he would stay ready anyway.
“I’m here to do whatever I’m asked to do,” Green said.
According to veteran DeMar DeRozan, which Bulls player is usually the most vocal in movie shows when it comes to breaking strategy? Of course, it’s Caruso. That’s why DeRozan may see him have a second NBA career someday.
“Alex will definitely be an NBA head coach after he’s finished playing,” DeRozan said. “You’d think he’s been in the league for 15 years, the way he talks about the game, gives advice. It is sometimes the loudest voice in the locker room, especially in the cinema, and it’s huge. He’s very experienced. ”