Danny Green, NBA rotation player

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AT&T Center–What is the sound of one hand clapping? If you listen closely enough behind the San Antonio Spurs bench it’s the sound of injured guard Manu Ginobili watching Danny Green come into his own right before our very eyes.

Of course, to hear Ginobili one would have to drown out the cacophony of the AT&T Center crowd following Green’s latest exploits (24 points, seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks) in the Spurs 121-117 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

“He played great, he was very aggressive, he shot the ball well, he had more confidence,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said. “He’s improving game-by-game. That’s great with Manu out, if Danny can play consistent like that, it’s great for us.”

Like a healthy Ginobili, Green was everywhere in the fourth quarter, drawing charges, blocking shots, getting steals, and knocking down timely shots. And for a moment, if you squinted your eyes real tight and allow for a moment of hyperbole, it almost looked like Manu Ginobili out there.

With the game winding down in its closing seconds Nuggets forward Danilo Galinari (31 points, 10-16 shooting) drove baseline, cocked the ball back in one hand, and was met at the rim without warning by Green. That it was a foul shows he still has a ways to go, that he was in that play shows he has what it takes to get there.

“[Danny Green]’s an NBA player and he’s playing with confidence,” San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s been through a lot of trials and been denied many times over the last several years.

“He’s a great example of sticking with it, not getting down on oneself, continuing to play, improve, listen, and right now he’s playing well and has been a significant part of what we’re doing.”

Green was a part of a national championship team in college at North Carolina, playing role player on a star-studded team featuring Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis, and Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson. He was drafted 46th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavalier, then under the management of former Spurs player Danny Ferry and later waived.

When Ferry returned to the Spurs he brought Green with him. After a quick look, the Spurs cut him before bringing him back towards the end of last year, forming the foundations of another rags-to-riches success story for the Spurs in the Popovich era.

“He was impressive. His defense is what got him on the court initially,” Spurs forward Richard Jefferson said. “He played great defense on Monta Ellis and he got the call against Jason Terry. Now he’s on the court.

“He’s starting to feel comfortable and starting to get his legs underneath him so now he’s able to hit some shots. He’s played great, without him who knows what our record would be these last three games.”

Since Ginobili went down against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Danny Green has found his minutes rise from 17 and 16 minutes in Minnesota and against Golden State, to 24 and 33 minutes against Dallas and tonight against Denver. Over that time he has been tasked with chasing rookie sensation Ricky Rubio, a scorching Monta Ellis, Jason Terry, and tonight found himself on everyone from Ty Lawson to Galinari, actually managing to stay in front of the former and bodying up the latter.

With each passing game Green has looked more comfortable, more confident, culminating in tonight’s offensive explosion–consisting of a variety of drives, floaters, and of course the corner three-pointers (3-for-4) that are a staple of the Spurs offense.

“[I’m feeling more confident] more and more each game. I know the system well from the beginning of last year and now I’m starting to feel comfortable with it,” Green said. “I’m just comfortable playing my game now, hopefully it will continue.”

  • paopao

    Danny Green just might turn out to be the Spurs latest “where did that guy come from” player.

  • James199664

    Danny Green just might turn out to be the Spurs latest “where did that guy come from” player

  • Anonymous

    Genius!

  • Anonymous

    Is there an echo in the room?

  • Anonymous

    Danny Green is not a fluke he’s going to take away some serious minutes away from somebody. OUCH!

  • Colin

    I think all Spurs fans have their fingers crossed with Danny Green.  I hope its not a flash in the pan.  He looks great.

  • Justin-ray

    He has something

  • Bob

    It looks like he’ll have to stay in the rotation after Manu comes back. Anderson probably won’t play and Neal and Leonard will get squeezed in minutes.

  • TD BestEVER

    What does this mean for James Anderson……..and does this mean the Spurs can shop him for a Big……Memphis picked up Speights from Philly for X. Henry and a 2nd round 2013 pick.   Henry was selected in the same draft as Anderson but 6 spots higher I think…….Both are 6/6 so their might be a team looking for a Mr. Anderson

  • Anonymous

    I’d keep Anderson to develop.  If Utah were willing and with Ford rising to a level he once exhibited prior to his injury as a top PG in the league, I would trade Parker for Al Jefferson.  Just as last year, Parker is the most tradeable player the team has but it wasn’t worth it in losing Parker if the team improved in one area only to completely lose out in another.  Not the case this year.

    Parker gives Utah the experience and elite capabilities of a top PG which they lack at this time and are loaded in the post with young developing  talented players in Kanter and Favors as well as a guaranteed pick in the mid first round and the possibility of another first round pick depending on their season this year.

    Al Jefferson brings….well you know what he would bring to this team.  A SOLID front court rotation that not only would help the Spurs against front court dominant opponents in the playoffs….but a way to help Duncan extend his playing career with the Spurs and possibly another title or two.

    Also, the team is going to have to deal with having to either keep or let go of Ford, Neal and Green at the end of this season when their contracts expire.  I think the Spurs could sign Ford to an extension for quite a bit less than what they pay Parker thus perhaps allowing them to re-sign or extend either Neal or Green or both.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely love the energy and vigor that Green brings to this Spurs team. Much needed with Manu out.

  • Marcus

    I like where you’re head’s at but I’m not too confident in Ford or Neal taking the starting PG role.

    Haha on a different topic I think it’s safe to say RJ is off the chopping block.

  • Anonymous

    As well as a great luxury to have when he returns knowing the Spurs have two they can rotate in and out or both at the same time when circumstances warrant.

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  • bakedroll

    i would suggest that rj is indeed off the chopping block and possibly on the shopping block….if he continues this level of play he will be a nice grab for any team looking for cap space in the impending future as well as a stop gap sf that does indeed have life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Craig-Thomas/1541940034 Craig Thomas

    With Green’s emergence, the Spurs have a great, young, defensive core at the 2/3 spot which will be critical in the playoffs. Green, Leonard, Anderson, Jefferson, and Ginobili are all very good defensively. If we could only acquire some defensive talent around the rim, the Spurs could easily have the best defense in the league.

  • Anonymous

    Still this early in the season who has pushed it and taken over and came through with clutch buckets late in the game. Parker. Don’t think TJ can do what Parker does late in the game.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I would like to see what JA has for the future we stand the same as last year winning regular season games and probably getting the same result in the playoffs. Bynum is a beast of lately for the Lakers. We will need to do something very soon or else it will be too late to incorporate a big and sort out the rotations as well in this compressed schedule. Just like last season where a lot of people were adamant about it…”If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” 2.0

  • Anonymous

    I’m afraid when Manu comes back he needs to get acclimated to playing again with these new rotations not to mention getting back in playing shape. I’m concerned hat he comes in and retains his minutes the other loses his and the game will change somewhat. Does Manu get bench minutes for a while until he’s in shape and then gets the full role in the playoffs?

  • Anonymous

    Defense wins Championships. That’s the only piece missing. As good as Bonner, Blair, and Splitter are for their contributions we still don’t have a big that can dominate the paint and the boards like Timmy used to when he was young or something close to it yet. Love what those three bring but we need it in one package. Don’t know if that’s going to happen.

  • Anonymous

    If the dream big is acquired by trade and it involves JA do we lose any of our other bigs like Bonner, Balir,   or Splitter. Does Diogu stay since they just open the wallet for him? Or do we keep them all?

  • Anonymous

    If a “dream” big is to be acquired via trade…it’s going to take more than JA, Bonner, Blair and Splitter combined to accomplish that.  The best option to acquire a “dream” big is having to give up Tony or Manu.  If a team wants Tony or Manu + any one of the players you mentioned…I don’t think the Spurs do it.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree.  Parker has proven to be (in the absence of Manu) THE individual on this team that helps propel the Spurs (as well as his surrounding team mates) to victory in the final moments of these games.

    That said…his stoic play would probably not be in such need if the Spurs had another premier post player on this team.  Parker is the only player on the team that could help the Spurs land such a deal.  I could be wrong and it probably doesn’t happen anyway…but…with that added type of post player to the team AND Ford as your starter, with Neal, a developing Cory Joseph,  and eventually Manu who can play point as back up…this team has a more balanced team for the playoffs.

  • Anonymous

    One thing that hurts the Spurs’ chances at making a good trade is the free agency of Ford, Neal, and Green. Will the Wolves, Hawks, Jazz or anybody trade for a guard when they could simply upgrade their area of need with one of those 3 guys in the summer, and keep their assets? The good news is RJ is growing his value through Spurs’ style determined effort and coachability… way to be a pro, RJ.

  • Anonymous

    So Henry, a guy I valued higher than JA (who wasn’t on my radar) in that draft, is a similarly tantalizing prospect? Unfortunately, Henry was given up for two playoff teams’ 2nd rounders. The Spurs do need to gamble and one things for sure: that’s definitely a gamble.

  • Wambofilo

    Danny Green Mr. D!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Not even TP or MG are enough. Remember how asking for a young Drew Bynum was a deal-breaker when the Wolves were shopping Kevin freaking Garnett? So, too, Noah was strictly off the table, breaking a deal for Amare Stoudamire! If the Spurs manage to add a “dream” big, it will be by taking a flyer on an unproven player, if and only if that player turns out to blossom AFTER being acquired by SA. And SA has plenty of players that can improve other teams around the league, or at least shore up their lack of depth (incl. JA, DB, Bonner, and Splitter.)

  • Anonymous

    Agreed

  • Tim in Surrey

    Jesse, “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?” is not the most profound Zen koan ever written. After all, most kids know how to clap with one hand and Bart Simpson actually demonstrated it (with only four figures on his cartoon hand!) on the Simpsons. But a thousand kudos for combining Zen and the Spurs!

    Maybe we could come up with a way to adapt this one to the Spurs:Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, “The flag is moving.”The other replied, “The wind is moving.”Huineng overheard this. He said, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”

  • Tim in Surrey

    Not much of a fan of defense, are you? Or are you just trying to aggravate Pop? I can think of few things he would hate more than a team with both TJ Ford and Al Jefferson playing defense…

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  • Hardknockerz

    Agree. Danny is growing up in front of our eyes. He is slowly turning into Bruce Bowen with offense, (sorry Bruce).bu I think the spurs need to take a chance. This may sound crazy and probably not realistic, but if they traded Tony Parker,no defense, Tiago Splitter, and a big like Blair for say maybe a Dwight Howard and a ugly Hedo contract, the sputs would automatically be the #1 defense in the.leauge.

    Dwight at C
    Duncan at PF
    Leonard at SF
    Green at SG
    Manu at PG

    Scary…….

    Offense

    Dwight C
    Duncan PF
    Jefferson SF
    Neal SG
    Manu PG

  • Sharonoliver62

    Keep it up Danny!!  Represent North Babylon!! Show ‘em how it’s done!!