Both Jeff Green and Courtney Lee spent time with the Celtics. Both were glad to be traded from a lottery team to a team chasing a championship. And most of all, these two were glad to be reunited on the same team.
Why? Well, besides being pals off the court, Jeff and Lee had great chemistry on the court with the Celtics as well:
Who doesn't want more of that?
These two even got into some humorous post game interview shenanigans:
With the Memphis Grizzlies, Courtney Lee is averaging 12.7 PPG while shooting 46.3%, which is the highest percentage of his career. He's also shooting just over 49% from the field in general. He's been placed in a permanent starting role with the Grizzlies, and he's fully embraced it. Grizzlies fans have gotten what they've wanted out of Lee, which is aggression and efficient shooting.
On the other hand, Jeff Green was averaging a career high 17.6 PPG at Boston. In his first ten games with the Grizzlies, Memphis is 9-1. Green is averaging 12.4 PPG. He has started six of the ten games so far, averaging just over 29 minutes a night. Before the trade became official, people complained about Green's efficiency. But, being on a rebuilding team such as Boston, Green was forced to take bad shots. Now, he's in the flow of the Grizzlies' new and improved offense.
The more these two play with each other going forward, the better for the Grizzlies. After trying the starting combo of Green with Tony Allen, Coach Joerger has paired Lee with his old friend some lately in the starting lineup, especially since Tony Allen was recently out a few games due to injury. Green has an offensive rating of 108 (per 100 possessions) with the Grizz, which ties for best in his career. Courtney Lee has an offensive rating of 115 this season, which is the best of his career. Defensively, these two share the same rating of 106.
The argument of who should start might be an ongoing discussion, but the facts are pretty simple: if you want offense, pair Lee and Green. If you want lock down defense, start Tony. A fair note is that Green has been a pretty decent defender as he's faced off with the league's best, including Kevin Durant the other night. The combo of Green and Allen in the starting lineup isn't as appealing to me as the Lee and Allen combo or the Lee and Green combo. Green is capable of shooting the three ball, but Lee is a more general outside-shooting threat. Fortunately Tony seems to be adapting smoothly to his new bench role as Green seems to be cemented in the starting role as of late. But I'm not here to argue over starting lineups. I'm here to show how the chemistry between Lee and Green makes the Grizzlies even better.
Jeff Green offers some outside shooting and significantly upgrades the Grizzlies' athleticism:
While Courtney Lee adds much needed perimeter shooting, plus some athleticism as well:
These two add perimeter scoring and athleticism to an already really good Grizzlies team. The Green trade has already helped the Grizz make their next step towards a title. As Jeff adapts more and more to his new role, the Grizzlies can only get better. Jeff Green specializes in athletic dunks and flashing through the lane, while Lee excels at pull up jumpers and three pointers.
The Grizzlies have been on a roll as they've won nine of their last ten games, which can be partially credited to the return of Zach Randolph. However, there's no doubt that the addition of Jeff Green has boosted the Grizzlies' offense, as well as their defense. In the last handful of games, Memphis has jumped back up to seventh in defensive efficiency and still remain at tenth in offensive efficiency. In their last ten games, the Grizzlies have held their opponents under 100 points. And in those ten games, Memphis has reached over the century mark in points in seven of those games.
Jeff Green and Courtney Lee have been brought full circle as they're reunited on the same Memphis team. These role players are undoubtedly vital pieces to the Grizzlies' championship hopes. And time together can only improve the already existent chemistry on this Memphis team.