The Other Guys: Danny Green
Courtesy of Raptors HQ
It’s not often that NBA fans forget about a player who has won at the highest level in both the college and professional realms; it’s even less likely that they’ve forgotten about a sweet-shooting wing with the physical and cognitive tools of a full-fledged perimeter stopper.
But it sure does seem like everyone’s forgotten about the Green Ranger.
The fact that #14 has flown so low under the radar this season does not bode well for the Raptor’s future playoff opponents. Teams may be forgiven for instead focusing on scheming up ways to limit the effectiveness of Toronto’s other heavy-hitters; game-changers like Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, and even Serge Ibaka. The fact that Danny Green’s name lies so low on the Raptors threat list is a boon for the loaded Eastern Conference contenders, and a BIG problem for everyone else.
Case in point: this monstrous long-range barrage unleashed by Danny G against the Grizzlies a little over a month ago.
Green has slashed a superb 45/43/91 (FG%/3PT%/FT%) shooting line this season, easily pacing the Raptors roster in 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage amongst roster members who play at least 15 minutes per game. Not only has been shooting the lights out, but he’s been playing lockdown defense; he’s tied for second place (with Siakam) on the team for total blocks, with 44 – second to only Serge Ibaka’s 84 on the season so far. For a wing player/non-big, that is impressive; it also enables the Raptors to trot out lineups capable of fluidly switching assignments on the less-glamorous end of the court.
Finally, for a guy who is so far down on Toronto’s pecking order, he is certainly outperforming traditional expectations of a role player. He leads the entire roster in Net Rating (+11.4) – something that simply cannot be expected of a player who plays a substantial number of minutes per game (28.4) while holding the ball for so little time.
Danny Green has embraced his role as the forgotten veteran on this stacked Raptor’s roster. He is putting down catch-and-shoot threes, making smart decisions with the basketball, and playing unbelievable perimeter defense; the fact that he qualifies as an “Other Guy” should instill an appreciable amount of fear in the hearts of Toronto’s opponents, and simultaneously bolster the confidence of all those who frequent the Raptors’ locker-room as they built toward an expectation-laden playoff run.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com