It was quite the season for Daniel Green who wasn’t even sure if he would even be in the league before the start of last season, but ended the year as a starter for one of the best teams in the league.
Green got his opportunity when Manu Ginobili broke his hand in the San Antonio Spurs fifth game of the season.
Where he shined, was on defense. His ability to defend point guards, even elite point guards, is extremely useful as it allowed Tony Parker to rest on defense. Green is also quick enough to pressure the basketball and strong enough to defend on the low block. Green even got better at getting around screens as he poor at doing this earlier in the year.
Green is also an elite rebounder, fifth in the league among shooting guards. He finished the season with a rebounding rate of 8.6, fifth among shooting guards. The only shooting guards who had a better rebounding rate this season were Evan Turner (12.2), Paul George (10.6), Mike Miller (10.2), Tony Allen (8.9) and Dwyane Wade (8.7).
Three-Point Shooting: Green’s ability to space the floor was also a big reason why Gregg Popovich liked Green in the starting line-up. A big part of Popovich’s offense is the corner three and Green developed a knack for drilling them. During the regular season, Green made 46 percent of his three-pointers from the corner.
Remain Aggressive: During the first two rounds of last year’s postseason, Green shot 47 percent from downtown. Nobody expected him to keep up that hot shooting. However, when Green fell back down to Earth, he fell HARD, going 4-for-23 for the rest of the postseason. More troubling is when Green isn’t scoring he lets it affect other phases of his game. This is common for young players, but it is critical for Green to remain engaged even if his shot isn’t falling for him.
What to Expect This Season: Green signed a three-year $12 million contract to remain with the Spurs. This is a steal when you consider the fact that a player with his similar skill-set, Arron Afflalo is on the Orlando Magic’s books for four years and $30.4 million.
Green is going to be in the starting line-up where he will be counted on to bring energy and defense to set the tone at the opening tip of games. As an overall athlete, he’s good but not great, which limits his ceiling on both ends of the court. And I have doubts that Green will approach 40 percent from the three-point line again this season, but he does so many other things well that it shouldn’t diminish his productivity.