The San Antonio Spurs list 18 players on the roster heading into training camp, and Air Alamo will break down each of the current players, their strengths, weaknesses, chances to make the roster and expectations for the 2015-16 NBA season.
Danny Green’s ascent from D-League castoff to one of the NBA’s elite has made him the shining example of the reclamation projects San Antonio has successfully completed.
Who Is He?
A product of basketball powerhouse North Carolina, Green finished his college days with the seventh-most triples in school history. He now ranks ninth in that category. Most impressively, though, the “Most Improved Player Award” at UNC has since been named after Green—seriously.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 1, 2015
Seems there’s a trend here, huh?
Though the Cleveland Cavaliers took Green 46th overall in the 2009 NBA draft, he only appeared in 20 games before being waived. The shooting guard signed with the Spurs in November but was released six days later. Green then spent most of the 2010-11 campaign in the D-League.
When March rolled around, San Antonio came calling again. And the rest, as they say, is history. Although the Spurs came up short, Green set an NBA Finals record with 27 three-pointers in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Overall, since joining San Antonio prior to the 2011-12 campaign, he’s buried 42.5 percent from downtown during the regular season and playoffs combined.
Green tallied career-best mark across the board last year, tallying 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 blocks per game, a 114 offensive rating and a 100.5 defensive rating.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He’s one of four NBA players to have posted a three-point clip better than 40 percent in each of the last four seasons. Considering Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver are the other three, that’s good company.
Green is also an outstanding defender; His 100.5 rating in 2014-15 ranked 16th in the NBA. Green’s transition defense is undeniably elite.
And it’s a good thing Green earned his (rather team-friendly) four-year, $40 million as a three-and-D piece, because in addition to the cold streaks that occasionally plague Green, the 6’6″, 215-pounder has a limited offensive skill set.
When he tries to create off the dribble or finish at the rim, Spurs fans hold their collective breath. Nevertheless, those instances are not regular occurrences, and they’ll become even less frequent because of the larger offensive roles headed to Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
What to Expect in 2015-16
NBA fans can find Green, the starting shooting guard, once again working to settle into a vacated spot along the perimeter. He should build off another strong season from beyond the arc because injuries likely won’t force Green into a more featured role.
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Leonard’s extended absence and Tony Parker’s nagging issues meant Green needed to be a bigger part of the San Antonio offense. However, as long as Leonard and Aldridge are healthy, Green’s responsibility is to indirectly demand attention and space the floor.
And when the defense doesn’t stay out on Green and gets drawn into the lane, he’ll be ready to knock down another Tar Heel Triple.
Green will register his fifth consecutive season of 40-plus percent shooting from three-point range and complement Leonard’s prowess on the defensive end, helping the Spurs remain one the league’s most complete rosters.