By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Sam Presti is a smart guy, considered one of the brightest minds in the league.
But it’s too bad, for Thunder fans at least, that not even he could concoct some sort of trade clause, retroactively, to temporarily reverse the Jeff Green-Kendrick Perkins swap strictly for games against the Miami Heat.
Because while Perkins has his obvious defensive value (and it is extremely high against 90 percent of the league), OKC’s lumbering center is often deemed useless against the athletic stretch-4 lineup thrown out by the Heat
Green, meanwhile, matches up pretty well with the defending NBA champions, bringing a rare combination of size and athleticism that at least provides a challenge for LeBron James on both ends of the court.
Green has been wildly inconsistent since arriving in Boston, but at times has shown flashes.
That was never more evident than Monday night, when Uncle Jeff went off for a career-high 43 points (on only 21 shots) against the Heat. Check out the highlights above.
He was confident, fluid and a little bit cocky, matching the MVP shot for shot for most of the night (until LeBron went next level for the game-winner – something he has made a habit of lately).
And look, I know OKC’s front office is perfectly happy with Perkins. They place extreme value on his defensive prowess and leadership intangibles. And no trade should ever be judged by a one-game aberration (case in point: Nate Robinson, a throw-in piece of that trade, randomly dropped 34 on Denver last night).
But Jeff Green would look mighty good in that Thunder rotation, if only for games against the Heat. You could throw him out there, with a lineup that included Westbrook, Martin, KD and Ibaka, matching Miami athlete for athlete and trying to beat them at their own game.
If nothing else, it would make for good television.