When the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on Kawhi Leonard in the offseason, their next move was to sign Danny Green. Though nowhere near the level of superstar that Kawhi is, Green has made a career out of being a strong defender and solid shooter. He’s been an asset to the thus far, but he thinks he can be better.
“This year, I haven’t been the specialist that I’ve needed to be,” Green said, per Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated. “Still getting better, still perfecting it. But nothing in this league is easy to do, especially when people know what you’re good at. They’re going to try to limit that, take that away from you.”
Green is noted for his three-point shooting ability, but his percentage is down compared to his career average. He’s still a strong defender and should be a very important member of the team come playoff time. It sounds like he’s just being a little overly critical of himself.
Frank Vogel Praises Green
Despite Green calling himself out, head coach Frank Vogel has been very high on him all season.
“His IQ and intelligence is an underrated part of defense,” Vogel said, per Rohlin. “He’s always in the right spot. He has great toughness and size. He has a great ability to use his instincts to deflect the basketball. You get a lot of those scrums in the paint. You see him stripping balls and coming up with balls and things like that. Obviously he’s one of the best chase-down blocks wings in the game and is great at contesting threes as well. Definitely a huge part of our defensive effectiveness this year.”
Green has spent a lot of time in the NBA and has definitely gathered a lot of information over the years. He spent years playing with players like Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard and spent most of his career under Gregg Popovich. The Lakers are going to need all the defensive help they can get if they’re going to make it to the finals and Green should help a lot in that regard.
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Alex Caruso Is Very High on Green
Not only does Green bring a lot on the court, but he also means a lot to the team off it. He’s been noted as a very good teammate.
“Danny’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had, you know, as far as genuinely caring about you, about how you’re doing,” Lakers guard Alex Caruso said. “And honestly, as a basketball player, multiple time champ. He’s a bonafide pro.”
One thing that makes the Lakers so special this year is the excellent chemistry the players have with each other. Green plays a big role in keeping the team on the same page. Though Los Angeles might not have the most talented roster in the NBA, the fact that the team works so well together could get them over the hump. The Lakers had the chance to trade Green at the trade deadline, but it was a good call for them to stay put.