Danny Green has made 25 3-pointers in 38 tries in the 2013 NBA Finals, which not only sounds like a lot, but actually is a lot. Enough to fill an entire two-minute supercut with just clips of him splashing jumpers while Mike Breen laughs and yells with evident and joyous approval of what the San Antonio Spurs guard has been able to accomplish. Don't believe me? Check this out:
See? Told you so.
Green's first 23 3-pointers set an NBA record for most 3s made during an NBA Finals, and he's still got at least one more game to go — or, if you're a hopeful Miami Heat backer, two more — to put the record further out of the next man's reach. In a series that's seen wild shifts in momentum, execution, narrative and results from game to game, Green's scintillating shooting has been one constant throughout — he's been so locked in from beyond the arc that his 24-point, 6-for-10-from-deep shooting performance in San Antonio's Game 5 win actually dropped his 3-point percentage for the series, from 67.9 percent (19 for 28) headed into Game 5 to 65.8 percent (25 for 38) afterward. (What a slacker.)
To hear Green tell it, his historic flow is merely the outgrowth of being very fortunate and having three All-World teammates, with Tim Duncan drawing Miami attention on the interior and gifted facilitators Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili finding him on the perimeter.
"I've been getting lucky," Green said after the game. "I was moving around a lot. Our transition helps us, our pace. Tony penetrating and Manu penetrating, making the defense collapse is the reason why I've been getting open. Luckily, a couple have dropped for me."
"A couple." Let it never be said that the 25-year-old out of North Carolina gets a swelled head in moments of all-time shotmaking brilliance, huh?
"Right now, everything is working well for me," he said. "I'm feeling truly blessed right now."
Parker, for his part, seems shocked that the blessings haven't gone bye-bye yet.
"I can't believe he's still open at this moment of this series," Parker said after bouncing back from a quiet Game 4 second half to score a game-high 26 points on 10 for 14 shooting in Game 5. "They are still trapping me and doubling Timmy, and Danny is wide open. He's shooting the ball well — if you are going to leave Danny wide open, he's going to make threes."
As Erik Spoelstra has learned, much to the Heat coach's chagrin.
"He's getting some open looks, and he's making some contested looks," Spoelstra said after a Game 5 loss in which his Heat were repeatedly picked apart and beaten by excellent San Antonio ball movement. "But the open looks are the ones that are killing us."
Green thinks Parker and Spoelstra might be overstating things just a bit — "I don't think many of my shots are that wide open" — but didn't necessarily say they were wrong.
"Some of [the looks], yeah, I'm surprised," Green said, before immediately returning to crediting his teammates.
"Tony, Timmy and Manu are doing a great job of sucking in the defense," he said. "Us pushing the pace and be able to move the ball and give us open looks. When that happens, it gives ourselves a better chance to score offensively."
Or, as Parker put it: "You can't stop everything."
The Heat barely stopped anything on Sunday, as San Antonio shot 60 percent from the floor en route to 114 points, the fourth-highest total Miami's given up this season and the second-most in a non-overtime affair. (They gave up 116 to the Denver Nuggets back in November, but they won that game.) And while the evening's big story was Ginobili turning back the clock with a performance for the ages, Green's hellacious rhythm might be setting the stage for one of the more unlikely stories in recent NBA history: Danny Green, NBA Finals MVP, which would make him the first second-round pick to win the award since Dennis Johnson in 1979.
"He's been unbelievable," Duncan said. "I hope he doesn't wake up and keeps playing this way."
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