It’s been a nightmare start for Danny Green in Orlando. In the two seeding games the Los Angeles Lakers have played at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Green has made just two of his 12 3-point attempts. On Saturday night, when Green faced off against his former team, the Toronto Raptors, he went 0-6 on his 3-point attempts, something he’s done only one other time this season (Dec. 11 vs. Orlando).
Green’s total lack of production on offense kept him on the bench for all but the final 1:27 of the fourth quarter. By that time, the Raptors had already sealed the game. Something tells me the Lakers didn’t expect Green to play garbage time minutes when they signed him to a two-year, $30 million deal last summer. They probably didn’t expect him to be on the bench when the opposing team’s best guard was taking over the game, either.
The season as a whole has been a weird change of pace for Green, but his performances in the last two games have been especially uncharacteristic of him. While that might be a cause for concern among Lakers fans, it’s not for Frank Vogel.
After the Lakers’ loss to the Raptors on Saturday, Vogel expressed his support for Green, and downplayed any shooting struggles the 33-year-old shooting guard has had in the bubble thus far.
“We believe Danny’s going to make shots,” Vogel said. “You know, he’ll have nights like that from time to time in his career, but he’s a proven, professional shooter, you know what I mean? I’m sure he’ll bounce back next game.”
The extent of Green’s struggles can safely be attributed to the fact that he’s still conditioning and working to get his rhythm back, as is the case for everyone else in the NBA. After all, he’s not the only one that’s struggled with his shot since entering the bubble. As a team, the Lakers have shot 27.6% from 3-point range in their seeding games.
However, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that this has been a down year for Green overall, and that the four-month hiatus likely didn’t do anything to change that. It’s also worth noting that Green has been outspoken about how the Lakers’ inside-out offense has affected the team’s shooters this season.
Green has shown time and time again that he can hit big shots when the stakes are the highest. Let’s hope that holds true in a month’s time.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.