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.