Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sonics Q&A: Jeff Green

Jeff GreenSonics rookie Jeff Green was one of the standouts in Wednesday night's game, helping lead a rally with his energy. Green also dished out a career-high five assists. He spoke with Sonics Beat about bringing energy off the bench and more.

How do you see your role in terms of energy?
I come in, do things on defense to try to create mismatches, just go out there and play hard. That's all the coach asks me to do and I'm going to go out there and do it to the best of my abilities.

How is coming off the bench different than starting in the NCAA?
You're just not playing 40 minutes like in college. Now you've got to find a new role. That's just something you have to adapt to. It's the same game - 10 players on the court, one ball. You've got to go out there and play. However many minutes I get, that's what I'm going to go out there and do.

How is your role different?
At Georgetown, the ball was in my hands most of the time. Now, you've got other guys who can help you out and score. I'm going to go out there and do the best I can. I don't have the same role I did at Georgetown; now, it's a much different role. A lot more is expected in terms of bringing energy and defending some of the toughest guys on the court. That's what the coach asks me to do to get minutes; that's what I'm going to do.

It seems like the bench has gotten going as the rotation has become more consistent. Does that make sense?
I think at the beginning of the season, not knowing when you were going to in, who you were going to go in for, was kind of a setback to us. Now that we know kind of how the rotation is going to be, we're getting more and more comfortable together, going out there on the court knowing who's going to be out there with you.

Have you adapted your game to the NBA so far? What have you learned about the league?
I don't think so. I feel like I'm playing the same way. It's just that some games I don't get as many minutes as I used to, but if coach sees that as a mismatch and he feels like one spot is going good, that's what he's going to roll with, I'm happy with that as long as we win. I feel like I've been learning a lot playing behind Kurt Thomas. He teaches me a lot. He teaches me things to look for, things to make my game better. That's a big help. Some rookies don't have that coming in. By him teaching me right now, I think it will help me in the long run of my career.