Before Tip-Off: Calderon’s defensive focus in Game 1, limit Spurs’ Green

AT&T CENTER – During the regular season, San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green had averaged 12.3 points on 60% shooting from 3-point range against the Dallas Mavericks. Green specifically had a 22 point night in December and 15 point night in April against the Mavericks, as he shot a combined 10 of 14 from long range in two of the four contests.

In game one of the series opener against the Mavericks, Green walked off the floor shooting 0-of-2 from the floor with 0 points in 24 minutes.

A big reason for Green’s limited offensive output was the defense by Mavericks guard Jose Calderon, who confirmed Wednesday before game two, his specific assignment was to stay near Green.

“I think as a team we know San Antonio like to drive and kick,” said Calderon Wednesday, “and certain people try to shoot threes. He (Green) always plays good against us (in the regular season), so we knew we couldn’t just leave him in some situations, so that’s what I tried to do and it was good.”

“We were right there,” continued Calderon, “I think our game-plan was good, but we just couldn’t score at the end.”

Whether you re-watch the game film (Calderon was within arm’s reach of Green on most possessions) or look at the numbers, it was clear what Calderon’s mission was – take Green away on the offensive end. During the regular season, Green averaged 37.4 touches per game via the SportVU database. Calderon and the Mavericks’ defense limited him to just 25 touches Sunday in his normal season minutes per game.

As game two is set to tip-off, both teams will make adjustments. Green, who has had defenses game plan for him in the past, will likely find a way to put forth an offensive impact either in game two, or at some time in the series.

Green will continue to get his minutes as he’s still one of the Spurs’ prime perimeter defenders, and his main task in game one, was defending both Shawn Marion and Vince Carter for a majority of the Mavericks’ offensive possessions, so Kawhi Leonard could stay with his defensive duties on Monta Ellis.

(Stats used via

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.