The 3 things that make Danny Green such a special role player, per Brett Brown
Sixers head coach Brett Brown was recently asked how Lakers guard Danny Green was able to stick around with the Spurs for so long. Brown, a long-time assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, noted three traits that make Green a great role player.
“He can shoot, he can guard, he’s good people,” Brown said, via The Ringer.
Brown is right on all three accounts. Green is indeed a solid shooter. In fact, the former UNC standout holds a career average of 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. This season, the 32-year-old is knocking down threes at a 38.1 percent clip.
On the defensive end of the floor, there are few players in the NBA who can hound a player like Green can. Simply put, he makes opposing players work harder than they’d probably like to.
Green is also a versatile player — one that can play and defend a variety of positions. This sort of flexibility should serve the Lakers well as they gear up for the postseason.
According to an analysis of Second Spectrum matchup data by Krishna Narsu of Nylon Calculus, Green is one of only 12 players (minimum 1,500 defensive possessions) who has guarded point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards on at least 11 percent of his defensive possessions in each of the past three seasons.
Green agreed to a two-year contract with the Lakers prior to the start of this campaign, leaving the Toronto Raptors after a season in which the team claimed its first NBA championship.
In his 55 appearances this season (all starts), Green has racked up averages of 8.6 points on 42.4 percent shooting from the field (38.1 percent from beyond the arc), 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 25.1 minutes per outing.
Green admits that playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis has made his job a bit easier. With so much attention paid to the superstars, Green often finds himself open.
“I think the challenge is because it’s so easy,” Green says. “You’re not used to having as many open looks or it being as easy as it is. And getting used to taking wide-open, uncontested looks. Those are usually the most pressured shots in basketball. You’re wide open.”
Green and the Lakers will be back in action on Thursday night, when they’ll face off against the Golden State Warriors inside the Golden 1 Center.