BOSTON — The Celtics started veteran guard Gerald Green in place of Amir Johnson in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Gerald, specifically, has been ready when called upon all year in a unique year, right, for him,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said before tipoff. “He got hurt in training camp, didn’t hardly play at all until Christmas, played in the Christmas Day game, and then played a lot while Avery [Bradley] was out, but didn’t play a lot in March. But he’s always been ready, and he always stays ready.”
Stevens went to Green in the team’s first-round matchup against the Chicago Bulls when Boston fell behind 2-0. The Celtics won the next four games to capture the series.
Green started twice in the second-round series against the Washington Wizards, with Boston winning in Game 1 but losing in Game 3. Johnson started the other five games of that series.
Green did not play in the final two games against Washington, but he logged 13 minutes in Wednesday’s Game 1 against Cleveland, when Boston showed some of its best energy of the night. He scored 11 points behind 3 of 5 shooting from long range.
Cleveland coach Ty Lue said that with the Cavaliers trying to force the ball out of Isaiah Thomas’ hands, it was smart of Boston to put another shooter such as Green on the floor.
The Cavaliers lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.