When we reviewed Jason Smith we examined his worth from the value gained in trading away Darius Songaila and Craig Brackins. The real steal of the trade was Willie Green. The Hornets found a veteran leader who had a pure ability to put the ball in the basket. Oustide of that though Green brings little to the table. His defense is very overrated and he isn’t any use when trying to set team mates up. The great thing though, is if restricted to being used as a scorer and leader off the bench he’s extremely effective.
Taking the pulse of Hornets fans, it seems that most are hostile towards him in large part because Marcus Thornton was shunned. I don’t think it’s quite fair to be honest, because Green actually plays his role very well and doesn’t usually stray to far away from who he is.
Getting 8 points off the bench is something we could have only dreamed of two years ago, but Willie was able to do that even if Thornton could have done more.
Before we even talk big picture let’s reminisce about that 12-for-12 explosion against the Phoenix Suns. The Hornets were struggling against the Suns early on and Monty Williams decided that getting the bench on the floor was necessary to spark something. Willie Green came on and hit a three-pointer after faking a pass inside. After that, it was lights out.
Getting to the rim, creating on the dribble, pulling up from the top of the three, all of these were money shots. Watching it, each shot had you going, “Okay here’s the miss…no…” then “Okay now….Oh my goodness no!”
The final three had me going crazy, it was as if the hoop was 12 feet wide and all he had to do was hoist it in the air. A 31 point night reminiscent of a previous guard who shall go un-named.
As for the rest of the season, Green was solid when his number was called. He’d get you points, he’d play his heart out and he’d try to give the team some energy.
Resigning Willie Green probably won’t be a top-priority for Dell Demps. Having said that, I do believe that Green’s leadership in the locker-room is a very highly rated commodity by the coaching staff. With that I would expect Green to come back for a very small price. His role would probably be the same, hopefully even subtracted a little bit with the acquisition of a better tw0-guard.
The coaches and the front-office need to remember when moving forward that Willie Green is only good at one thing on the court, scoring. I’m not saying he’s a good enough scorer to give him 10 shots a game, but he’ll give you something off the bench by running the floor and trying to attack the rim.
Whether Green is on the roster in 12 months time or not remains to be seen. Hopefully the Hornets front-office is seeking other options out there before bringing Willie back.
Season Grade: (Rated in Awesome to the Max’s)
Two-and-a-half out of five.