Allen Iverson – scandal, tattoos, practice, practice, practice and practice – has been the most visible Hoya in the NBA since the end of Patrick Ewing’s glory days with the New York Knicks. Wednesday night, his Denver Nuggets met the first of John Thompson III’s Hoyas to make the jump to the NBA.

Iverson’s inverse, Jeff Green, the picture of cool, calm and respectful while at Georgetown, played 18 mostly unspectacular minutes for the Sonics while Iverson riddled off 27 points, 14 assists, seven rebounds and four steals in the Nuggets’ 120-103 win. Green did not enter the game until 1:30 remained in the first quarter and scored five points on 1-for-2 shooting.

Green saw significant minutes during the preseason until he was hindered by a left-ankle sprain that limited him in practice as recently as Sunday. The former Big East player of the year, who averaged nine points per game in eight preseason games, picked up his first NBA minute when he entered late in the first quarter on a defensive possession.

Green’s first action came on that set when Nuggets all-star Carmelo Anthony drove to the hoop. Green forced Anthony to alter his shot, which led to a Johan Petro block.

It was a difficult shooting night for Seattle’s two first-round picks. Green struggled from the free-throw line, hitting just 3-of-7, while Kevin Durant, the second pick in the draft, made 2-of-4 free throws and 7-of-22 from the field.

While Green shot poorly, he made several athletic plays, blocking Iverson in the second quarter and reaching for a put-back dunk before being taken out from below. Green shot just .462 from the charity stripe during the preseason after knocking down 78 percent from the line during his last college season.

Despite Green’s troubles on the offensive end in a system that is far from Georgetown’s Princeton offense, he made several intelligent plays.

Green did not take a bad shot. He made the extra pass and drew four fouls. Defensively he kept his man in front of him and picked off a rare errant Iverson pass for his first steal.

Forwards Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox are expected to remain at the top of the Sonics’ rotation for the foreseeable future and, barring injury, Durant will see plenty of playing time, leaving Green to get his minutes off the bench.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.