I assume everyone has played a sport at some point in their lives, even if they’ve hated it. We’ve all had an interaction with sport, some depended on it while others couldn’t be bothered. While there are some who watch and play the games they love religiously, others who live in the same era, timezone and sometimes household, don’t even notice the events as they pass us. For those that enjoy sports, we all have a story about how if not due to a dramatic injury, would have gone pro and evolved the game.
While we all know we never had a shot, we can’t be blamed for lying. We long for the abilities of those we perplex as superheroes in the form of athletes. We dream to have the athletic ability of LeBron James or the tactical shot making of Kobe Bryant. Although, like all the great superhero comic books and movies we love, every superhero has different abilities. Some do a lot, others do less, but all are “super” nonetheless.
In the case of veteran shooting guard Danny Green, he has had to work his way to superhero status. After a stint at North Carolina, Danny was chosen 46th overall by the Cavaliers in 2009. After a short spell with Cleveland, Green was demoted to the NBA developmental league, where after some key performances, he was picked up by the San Antonio Spurs. Green became an integral piece of the Spurs during his 7 year tenure under coach Popovich, and was relied on heavily during their two-year war with LeBron James and the Miami Heat and their eventual title victory where many believed he could have won Finals MVP.
Green is one of the greatest shooters ever and he will go down as such. However, his record in the NBA Finals are dramatically better. Danny is a man for the big time and when his team depends on him most, he manages to turn it all the way up. Danny has shot 39/74 (52.7%) in the NBA Finals which happens to be the highest percentage in NBA Finals history among players with a minimum of 50 attempts. He is 12th on the all-time three pointers made list for the NBA Finals and has cemented himself as a reliable player in the clutch.
The fact that Green has struggled and that everyone (including myself) has harshly criticized him for his lack of offensive contributions, he has bounced back better than ever. He offered a phenomenal defensive performance as well as going 4/7 from the field and scoring 3 three pointers. He is the definition of a crafty veteran that you can never count out. He owns up to his record and produces in the “big-time”. The fact of the matter remains that in order to beat the Golden State Warriors, we need our role players to knock down shots and pick up the load and Danny Green is an integral part of that.
The guard has show his weaknesses at times in these playoffs but there is no doubt he is a man for the moment. Cold as ice, the veteran guard iced 3 triples during game 1 and his lust for that feeling surely will incite more spectacular performances to come. What will be critical in regards to Green specifically will be his ability to knock down shots when the Raptors hit the road. Danny is a veteran with a lot of Finals experience and his calmness, wisdom and play will be critical to Toronto’s success or failure on the road.
By Maiyo Shahrawan