NBA G League alum Danny Green knocked down six three-point field goals during the Raptors’ Game 3 victory of the 2019 NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV on Wednesday. His 18 points were a playoff-high this season and his highest points total since April 7.
Still, Green’s ability to come through at a time like this shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a proven winner.
After shooting 42% from deep while helping University of North Carolina win the NCAA title back in 2009, the kind of role this marksmen would have at the professional level could have been predicted. But as most NBA G League alums can attest, sometimes realizing success requires patience and the perseverance to keep proving yourself until the time is right.
Since turning pro, Green has continued to rack up the accolades. In 2013, he set a then-record for 3PM in an NBA Finals series with 27 conversions from downtown. The following season, he won an NBA championship with the Spurs. While garnering a reputation for his reliable sharpshooting over the years, the veteran has proven able to hold his own on the other end as well. In 2017, he earned NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors.
Even before all of this took place, Green used his time in the NBA G League as a proving ground to show that his prowess from deep simply couldn’t be contained (or thus, no longer ignored by teams at the next level). Though the 31-year-old became synonymous with San Antonio’s winning ways in the early years of his career, even the Spurs might not have rolled the dice on him right away. The team picked Green up after he played sparingly with the Cavaliers during his rookie campaign. Waived just six days after being acquired, Green headed to Reno to don a Bighorns uniform in January of 2011. Much like he did in Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals, the up and comer let it rip, boasting a 45/43/80 shooting clip en route to averaging 20.1 points over 16 games. The Spurs took notice, went on to re-sign him, and the rest is history.
Now just two wins away from winning his second NBA title, Green is shining for a new team, but it’s clear the stage is still quite a familiar one for him. He’s continued to thrive under the bright lights because he’s found the perfect role. Converting on six three-point field goals in no easy feat, and as such, Green can fill it up when need be. But he also knows when to defer to the other strong offensive talents around him. His clutch shooting helps his team spread the floor and guarantees that an opponent can’t sleep on him to double-team another talented scorer. What’s more, Green’s gritty veteran presence allows him to remain steady while defending even the most potent opposing two-guards. The Raptors are reaping the benefits of what has become his calling card as a 3-and-D player.
But alas, Green needed that time in between it all and the Bighorns provided him with that. His ability to stay ready (paired with where he is today) should serve as motivation for all those hoping to carve out their own path.