Danny Green is known as one of the best snipers from three in the NBA, thanks mainly to his performance in the 2013 NBA Finals when he set a Finals record for most three-point field goals made in a Finals series.
But it almost didn’t happen.
Green was cut three times by teams in the league, including twice by his current team, the San Antonio Spurs. The 27-year-old shooting guard/small forward has carved out a nice niche for himself as a three-point specialist and dependable perimeter defender. He was asked to guard both Kevin Durant and LeBron James at times during the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Green has always possessed a slight build at 210 pounds, but his 6-foot-6 frame and lengthy wingspan allows him to quickly get out on the break as well as guard multiple players at different positions. The best part about Green is that he is now entering the prime years of his career. He will also be playing for a new contract during this season as his current one expires at the end of next season. From both a financial and playing position, Green could not be in a better place for his career. But just like every player in the NBA, there is always something you can work on to improve your game.
For Green, a couple things come to mind. In terms of his offensive game, Green is already a knockdown three-point shooter who has averaged a 41 percent clip or better from outside during his last three seasons with the Spurs. One of the underrated things that swung the 2014 Finals in the Spurs’ favor was that Green was suddenly, shockingly hitting his floating jump shot consistently. When he elected to go with this shot in the regular season, it sometimes produced cringe-worthy results. He showed slight improvement as the season went on, but there is still a lot of work he could put into this shot. And with the floating jump shot expert beside him in Tony Parker, it might be a good idea for Green to learn some tips from his backcourt partner.
Green also has textbook shooting form and a quick release that he could use to his advantage to draw fouls given his reputation as a lethal long-range threat. The Toronto Raptors’ Lou Williams has used his amazing pump fake to draw countless fouls and free throws for himself. Green could definitely sell many defenders on this should he put the time in to master this art.
And of course, there is always the cliche “he needs to bulk up” suggestion, but Green seems to be able to hold his own against a variety of players. But it would not be a bad idea either to add a few pounds of muscle given he sometimes guards bigger, stronger small forwards.
Overall, he has come a long way in this league and there is evidence his work ethic is terrific given how much time he has put in to reshaping his game since coming to the Spurs.
The Spurs looked near unbeatable in Games 3-5 against the Miami Heat because of Green’s ability to drive in to the lane and hit those difficult two-point shots and floaters. If he makes that a staple of his game this season and works on his pump fake too, it will make both him and his team all the more dangerous.