Danny Green: Looking at his impact on the Lakers

Photo: CBS Sports

Upon missing out on marquee free-agent, Kawhi Leonard, this past summer, the Los Angeles Lakers quickly diverted to secure Danny Green. In a bid to construct a deep, talented roster alongside LeBron James and the newly acquired Anthony Davis.

Green signed a two-year, $30 million contract. The amount was expected, with him coming off the back of a 45% 3-point shooting campaign with the Toronto Raptors last season. Which resulted in the second NBA Championship of his career.

As a whole, his performances so far have possibly not been as productive as Laker fans would have expected. Through 61 games, the 32-year-old is averaging 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 steals.

Looking at his shooting numbers, Green is converting at a 41.9% rate from the field. From range, 37.8%. Whilst his 3-point shooting numbers aren’t as high as last season, it’s still above the league average of 35.7%. But it’s his wider contributions to the team that need to be focused on.

Danny Green thinks Lakers lack of pace has hurt Anthony Davis ...
Photo: Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Danny Green’s Impact:

Green has never been a high-volume shooter. His career totals have peaked at 11.7 points per game, five seasons ago. Plus, he only takes a career-average of 7.2 shots per game. He’s purely used as a spot-up shooter and as a solid defensive presence. In fact, he has been regarded as one of the elite “3 and D” players in the association for a number of seasons now.

Diving into the statistics, his 12.7% usage rate proves that his role on the star-studded Lakers is as a spot-up shooter lurking in the wings. This rate is actually the lowest in his career, but only 0.3% lower than last season, with the reigning NBA Champions.

From an offensive standpoint, when he’s on the court, the Lakers score 115.1 points per 100 possessions. This suggests that even though he’s not firing from an individual standpoint, he’s pivotal to the Lakers’ offensive set-up. Defensively, the Lakers allow 105.4 points per 100 possessions. Again, this shows Green’s importance to the team as a whole. 60% of the time, he has been marking guards and 35.1% of the time, forwards.

Both of the above offensive and defensive statistics place Green in the lofty 90th percentile of wing players in the NBA. As per Cleaning the Glass. Looking at his impact through plus/minus, he’s averaging 5.1 on the season. This is the 3rd highest on the team. Behind superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Even though he doesn’t post huge individual stat-lines, Danny Green’s impact is clear to see. He has been a huge part in the Lakers sitting at the top of the Western Conference by 5.5 games.

Green’s Scoring Outbursts:

However, he does light-up from time-to-time. His debut outburst, back in October, of 28 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, was the most points from a Laker making his debut in history. Surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous record of 27 points. That night, Green shot 10-14 from the field, and 7-9 from 3.

He’s scored 20+ points on four occasions so far this season, with the other games being against the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Houston Rockets. It appears that he can certainly show up and post big numbers in important games.