Javonte Green Just Wants to Do the Little Things, And That's All the Bulls Need

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Javonte Green Just Wants to Do the Little Things, And That’s All the Bulls Need

Chicago Bulls

If it wasn’t clear yet, Javonte Green made it so last night: “Ever since I could dunk, I try to.”

The Chicago Bulls forward guard player, rose up for a layup on Hawks guard Skylar Mays early in the first quarter on Wednesday night. After sending it too hard off the glass, Green quickly rose back toward the basketball. He could have tried to tip it in. He could have tried to kick it out. He could have simply brought it back down to the hardwood. Instead, despite a six-foot-ten Clint Capela standing in his way, he tried to pound it in.

To no surprise, the putback attempt wasn’t even close to the net, but a hard-falling Green did get the foul call. And he did try it.

Green has 24 awesome dunks to his name this season – which is 2nd on the team behind Zach LaVine – but it’s these missed attempts that best describe what Green brings to the table. The 28-year-old who went undrafted out of Radford University and started his professional career overseas tries it all. Whether it be starting at power forward, guarding Trae Young, flying in for the alley-oop slam, or splashing the corner 3, there isn’t a thing Green will not try for this Bulls team, and it’s made him the perfect addition to a star-studded roster.

“I just want to do everything that DeMar, Zach, and Vooch don’t necessarily have to do,” Green told reporters after Wednesday night’s 131-117 win over the Atlanta Hawks. “Like guard the best player, do all the little things, just bring them energy. They are going to score the ball regardless, I just want to take more pressure off them.”

Mission accomplished.

Green has been a dirty work machine for the Bulls this season, and it was on full display in this second matchup against the Hawks this week. Maintaining his spot in the starting lineup in place of the injured Patrick Williams, Green scored a season-high 14 points on a 4-5 performance from the field. His downhill energy in transition and non-stop off-ball movement in the halfcourt helped him fight his way to the free-throw line for a 6-8 showing. Green added 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and zero turnovers to finish the night with a game-high +24 in his 23 minutes of action. It was a quintessential Javonte Green game.

Standing at six-foot-five, Green provides the energy and athleticism of a 19-year-old with the awareness and the intentions of a 34-year-old. He’s used this rare mixture to earn an estimated plus-minus of +1.3 on the defensive end, per Dunks & Threes, which ranks in the NBA’s 87th percentile. He’s also used it to become one of the game’s better offensive rebounders at his size. Among players who stand six-foot-seven or shorter and have appeared in at least 25 games, Green averages the 3rd-most offensive rebounds a night, per NBA Stats. On the Bulls, he is second behind only Nikola Vucevic.

In a career-high 612 minutes this season, Green has an on/off differential of +4.5, per Cleaning the Glass. Remove his 108 minutes with the team last season, and this is by far a career-high. But numbers can’t tell Green’s story.

Like the bothersome bird building a nest in the corner of your front door, the more you watch Green, the more you appreciate the work he puts in. The guy may not always make the right play, but he almost always makes the winning one. And, hey, when he doesn’t, at least we can say he tried.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.