LA Clippers need more JaMychal Green in Game 7

The LA Clippers need to play JaMychal Green more in Game 7.

On Tuesday night, the LA Clippers are in a situation none of us thought they would be a couple of weeks ago. They are in a game seven against the Denver Nuggets and must win to advance. While there have been critiques across the board about the team’s play, I think one thing is apparent; The team needs more JaMychal Green.

In Game 6, Green was the first big man to come in, putting himself ahead of Montrezl Harrell. Green played beside Ivica Zubac in the first quarter and brought a ton of energy. He scored six quick points and grabbed two rebounds in just 4:25 of play.

Green ended the game with 11 points, two rebounds, and two assists. No, those stats aren’t anything great but it’s better than the alternative, Montrezl Harrell.

Trezz has been ridiculed throughout this series and rightfully so. Granted, Doc Rivers has not put him in a place to succeed but Trezz still does not look like a productive member on the court….at least to fans.

This quote bugs me to no end, on multiple levels. But there’s one fundamental problem: Doc only sees the team as having two 5’s. What needs to happen, though, is JaMychal at the five.

It’s not like JaMyke is a perfect solution, either. For those of you into advanced stats, he has a -5.0 net rating in this series, 2nd worst on the team of those who have played more than 15 minutes. Green does have a defensive rating of 104.1, which is third-best on the team. Why not give him more run and see what happens?

Don’t believe me? How about Brian Windhorst of ESPN?

In the past two games, the Clippers have been outscored by 30 points when Jokic and Harrell have been on the court together in the second half. If you want to know why the Clippers blew those big leads, that is at the heart of it.

Jokic is shooting 64% when Harrell is the primary defender against him in the series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. When starter Ivica Zubac is on Jokic, it’s down to 49%. When it’s anyone else, which happens in a switching defense, it’s 54%.

So, Trezz isn’t working and we cannot keep Zu on the court for 48 minutes. JaMychal is the clear solution. Oh, wait, we didn’t talk about offense.

In this series, JaMychal is shooting a team-high 61.5% from the floor on 4.3 attempts per game. He’s hitting 46.2% of his 2.2 attempts from deep. That helps, especially the spacing. What’s crazy is that those numbers aren’t extreme outliers from his norm. For the season, Green shot 56.3% overall and 45.0% from deep.

Next: Don't despair, the series isn't over yet.

JaMychal can make a positive impact on both ends of the court for the Clippers. At his worst, he’s a slight improvement over Trezz. He’s scrappy enough to guard Jokic in very spot minutes and can cause problems on the offensive end when Mason Plumlee is in and defending him. With the team facing elimination, it only makes sense to play your best players. JaMychal is one of the Clippers’ better ones.