OKC Thunder: Jeff Green forced to learn on the job

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Modified: November 7, 2008 at 9:23 am •  Published: November 7, 2008

/> "I think it’s a great opportunity for him to learn what these guys do because he’ll be guarding them the majority of his career,” said Desmond Mason. "But it’s also an opportunity for him to learn how to play on offense. So I think it’s going to be a learning experience for him on both ends.”

Green will follow tonight’s matchup with clashes with Atlanta’s Josh Smith, Indiana’s Danny Granger and Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu.

"I think it speeds the coloring of their hair,” joked Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo of his young players’ tough early assignments. "I think you get grey hairs quicker. But if you’re up to the challenge, it’ll definitely hasten the (development) process.”

Green’s early averages of 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists certainly won’t have you running to the waiver wire in your fantasy leagues. But it’s his defense on opposing wing players that ultimately will help the Thunder develop into a better defensive team and lead to more success.

"The better the team he’s on the better he’s going to be. He’s such a team player. He does so many things for your basketball team that don’t show up in stats. He makes the little extra passes. He’s got a great post game. He’s almost unselfish to a fault at times. But I think that’s who he is.”

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