Gamebook: Green seeks game legs

PORTLAND, Maine -- Jeff Green was receiving another dose of eye drops when reporters entered the Boston Celtics' locker room following Wednesday's 92-89 loss to the Toronto Raptors, but his orb was the least of his concerns.

Green is still trying to get his legs back after missing nearly two weeks of action, including the team's first four preseason games, due to a strained left calf. Green had some quality moments during Wednesday's game -- a two-handed slam on the game's first possession, among them -- but was still finding his way, and doing it with blurry vision after Toronto's Amir Johnson caught him with a swipe late in the first half.

"I’m good. I can see," Green said. "Just got real, real blurry when I got hit. But I’m good now. I got some drops. Took about 15-20 minutes for it to clear, but I’m [OK]. ...

"It feels good to be back on that floor. I was overanxious. Just happy to be out there, it’s moving too fast, I’m dead tired, but it’s going to take a couple games for me to get my legs up under me. Once I get my game legs, I’ll be good to go."

Green finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting to go along with five rebounds, a steal and an assist over 31 minutes, 29 seconds. He also turned the ball over three times.

"I thought he did OK," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I thought he was fine, physically. He got poked in the eye, and I think he’s fine. ... As far as in the rhythm of the offense, it was his first game. So we need to get him back and I’m glad he gets a couple exhibition games to get back."

Green started and spent most of the night at his typical small forward position, but did bounce to power forward spot at times. He downplayed the notion of having to relearn exactly how he fits into Boston's offense, particularly with all the team's new faces.

"Right now it’s just important for me to get in shape. I think that, for me, all I want to do is get in shape," Green said. "Get my game legs under me, this is my first game back, missed the first four games, haven't been able to practice for two weeks except the last day or two. I just want to get my legs up under me so I can stay on the floor and help my team out."

Before Wednesday's game, Stevens stressed how Green's additional time at power forward is geared toward helping undersized Boston create mismatches.

"It’s a lot less about Jeff and I think a lot more about how we can be unique," Stevens said. "I think we all know that to win in this league is really hard. ... I don’t think he’s going to play exclusively or most of the time [at power forward], but can you find time in the game when you’re unique to the opponent? And Jeff Green on offense can be unique to the opponent."

Turner sent home

Evan Turner got tagged with a pair of technical fouls and was ejected from Wednesday's game for barking at official Eric Lewis.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked if he got a sense of what Turner said to get ejected and replied, "I got a sense of it, but you’ll have to ask him." Pressed if what Turner said warranted the technicals, Stevens added, "I thought so."

Turner was having a solid night before his disqualification. Starting at point guard, Turner put up 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists over 26:47. He was creating easy baskets for his teammates with the pick-and-roll and creating for himself (5-of-9 shooting overall). His absence did give rookie Marcus Smart a chance to shine in the fourth quarter as the rookie aided Boston's rally to nearly force overtime.

Vacationland ... eventually

The Celtics probably feel like a D-League squad as they've logged extended hours on the team bus lately trekking to exhibitions, including a traffic-snarled visit to Uncasville, Connecticut, for Saturday's preseason tilt at Mohegan Sun. The drive to Portland was far breezier.

"It’s great to play in front of your fans in all the different regional sites," Stevens said before Wednesday's game. "But it is a lot of travel. I think our guys feel a lot better than they did on Saturday. I know we’re looking forward to playing. I think it’s great to get a chance to do this again with a lot of the places in New England that follow the Celtics and have followed the Celtics for a long time."

Stevens noted again how he hadn't been to Maine since a recruiting trip to Lee Academy about eight years ago. He said his family has it on their to-visit list as they settle in as New Englanders.

"We’ve talked about, as a family, especially in August and early September about trying to get up and we never did," he said. "Everybody that’s visited us has stopped in Boston, then driven up here. I guess we are behind."

Stevens stressed again a desire to develop more synergy with the D-League affiliate.

"I think that’s something that we’re continuing to put a lot of emphasis on," he said. "Now that I’ve been in the NBA for a year and I’ve got a good pulse on all the different hats that you have to wear and all the different things that you really try to focus your time on, I’ve probably spent a little bit more time on that, with [coach] Scott [Morrison] and with the young guys. We have [player development assistant] Ron Nored here last year as an assistant, now he’s back with us, but he’ll kinda also be a liaison between the Celtics and the Red Claws as well."

Loose balls

Young gunning for Wednesday: Celtics rookie James Young will miss two more games, but the Celtics hope that he might be healthy enough to be back on the floor for Wednesday's exhibition finale against the Nets. "He’s progressing enough that we think we’ll have a full re-evaluation Monday and we’re hopeful that he’ll be able to play on Wednesday," Stevens said.

Thanks, Maine: The announced attendance for Wednesday's game was 5,909. Said Stevens of Portland: "It was great. I’m sorry that we were struggling to throw the ball in the ocean in the first three quarters and, really, overall we didn't shoot it very well. But it was a great atmosphere and we’re appreciative for the atmosphere to come up here." Added Jeff Green: "The atmosphere were great, the fans were great and supportive through the whole game, on their feet. That's a Boston crowd for you."