Every player in the league has a move that can be stamped as their trademark. For Spurs’ sharp-shooter Danny Green, his trademark is frankly, his shooting. Before coming to the Spurs, Green’s game when he was at the University of North Carolina consisted of more than just three-point shooting. While there, he attacked the rim and pushed the ball up the floor.
His first few seasons with the Spurs, he simply relied on his outside shooting and when he was forced to put the ball on the floor, he just didn’t seem comfortable at all, missing easy baskets, as well as forcing passes into the lane which at times caused turnovers.
This season, Green has stepped back into the role he played back in Chapel Hill. He has opened up his game, pushing the ball down the floor, attacking the basket and being aggressive.
What has changed? What caused Green to adjust and expand his style? Green is now getting the respect around the league that he should. He is a big threat on the outside. He is not shy to let one fly. Teams now are getting dialed in on him and have seen in the past than when he is taken off of the three-point line, it could work in their favor leading to turnovers and missed shots.
Not this year.
I believe Green knows that teams are going to go after him a different way than before. As a player, you have to make adjustments to your game that can make you even more of a threat when the strongest side of your game is taken away, like it was in Games 6 and 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
As we reported during training camp, Green said he worked on several aspects of his game, including hitting pull-up jumpers and finishing at the rim, because he suspected after a record-breaking Finals three-point shooting performance, teams would try to force him away from shooting beyond the arch.
What teams have failed to do still this season is find Green. Green does a great job moving without the ball and his teammates also set him up nicely through screens. Against the Golden State Warriors, Green had a defender in his face (4 feet within his vicinity) seven times and he made four of the shots that were contested.
Expanding his game has made him more of a threat this season. His pushing of the ball in the open floor and attacking the baskets will soon open up more for his teammates. This will also give him more confidence heading into the playoffs.