Staying Ready

A theme that plays itself out in nearly every year’s NBA Playoffs is the emergence of a role player who had previously fallen out of the rotation. This year there are two great examples of that in Toronto’s Norman Powell and Boston’s Gerald Green. Beyond Toronto’s meaningless season finale against the Cavs, Powell hadn’t more than 30 minutes in a game since early March, but with the Raptors facing a 2-1 deficit, Toronto coach Dwane Casey called his number and Powell averaged 33 minutes in the series’ remaining 3 games (which Toronto won with Powell averaging 15 points per game). For Green, he played just 5 minutes in the Celtics’ two losses to Chicago. Down 2-0, Brad Stevens made a lineup change and inserted Green as a starter. The Celtics ran off 4 victories in a row with Green scoring 16 of his team’s first 18 points in game 4. Linked below are two great articles (one on each player) on the importance of being ready to play even when you’re not playing.

“So I just always try to prepare myself like I’m going to play even when I wasn’t going to play. Even when I wasn’t playing my thing is I was always enjoying the team success, enjoying someone else’s success and that’s the biggest part about trying to be a championship team is it’s always going to be certain guys that aren’t going to play.”

Right from the start it’s all about Green (LINK)

“I struggle with my focus and my confidence, and I see him in here every day. Every day. He doesn’t play, but he never complains. I’m not saying that just because I’m in front of you. He never complains. And he’s an inspiration to me. He is really an inspiration.”

Better Raptors revert to the Norm (LINK)

For more on the concept on staying ready even when playing time isn’t coming your way:
-C.J. McCollum seizes the moment (LINK)
-Kent Bazemore: from undrafted to $70 million (LINK)
-Heat’s pregame pick-up (LINK)
-Spurs’ Simmons living the NBA dream (LINK)
-Cavs stay on point with Delly (LINK)

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