Danny Green Moves to Bench For San Antonio Spurs, Finds Groove

Danny Green Spurs bench

Soobum Im – USA Today Sports Images

Other than for a single game in the 2013-14 NBA season, Danny Green has been in the starting lineup for the San Antonio Spurs. Green emerged as a starter for the Spurs over the past two seasons, earning his place with his ability as a perimeter scorer and perimeter defender. However, Green hasn’t been enjoying near the success this season that he did last year.

While he averaged 10.5 points in 27.5 minutes per game on 44.8 shooting from the floor and 42.9 percent three-point shooting last season, Green’s numbers have slipped to just 7.6 points per game this season in only 22.9 minutes per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 41.4 percent shooting.

Green’s numbers haven’t been abysmal, but he also hasn’t been as effective or the force that the Spurs expect him to be. In a move to try and get the guard going, head coach Gregg Popovich made the move on Monday night to move Green to the bench for the second time this season.

Popovich said after the game that he wasn’t benching Green due to performance, but legitimately just to give him a look and try and get him going. No matter the motives, though, Green performed well in the Spurs’ victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Green saw the floor for 24 minutes and put up 14 points while shooting 5-8 from the field and 4-6 from long-distance, including several timely threes late in the second half. Though it’s not a role he’s been in much at all over this season and last year, Green seemed to be comfortable on Monday playing as a reserve.

Popovich and the Spurs face an interesting decision going forward concerning Green and, subsequently, Marco Belinelli. Belinelli had been on fire lately, but was off on Monday night and seems to have less of a rapport built with the starting unit than he did with the reserves. One has to wonder if Green can get it going and if that will cause his return to the starting five. Given this team’s track-record, though, I’m sure they’ll make the decision that will work out best for them like they always seem to do.

Cody Williams is a Senior Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20, add him on Google and like his Facebook page.

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  • Kenman

    Starter, smarter, who cares? Not the Spurs as their coach knows games can be won and lost by players 6-10 as much as it can by the starters. Throughout this season the Spurs depth on their second team has dominated their opponents about 80% of the time leading to lop-sided scoring differences in 2nd team vs 2nd team playing time (about 10-12 minutes per game) so with them its more about balancing both squads offense and defensive abilities. Their 2nd team is better at ball movement and many times are stronger than the starters as they play more of a team game. The 2nd team regularly hands it to the starters in practices so it more about having 2 good lineups going into a game and season for their older players to keep their game minutes down. Any more than 2 days rest for this team and they start out very rusty in the first half of games after long layoffs. Parker is good but he does reduce the ball movement and player cuts without the ball when he is on the floor and the Spurs have taken him off the point at times in the game to rest him for the final 5 minutes to score and to simply keep the wear down on his aging bodyafter starting in the NBA as a teenager.