Danny Green Needs to Make Shots if the Lakers Want to Win a Title

Ryan Phillips
Danny Green, New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers
Danny Green, New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images
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Danny Green has struggled in the NBA's Orlando bubble. A man brought to the Los Angeles Lakers to provide defense and hit shots has only been getting half the job done. If the Lakers truly have designs on winning a championship this year, Green is going to need to make shots.

LeBron James and the Lakers desperately needed to find shooting this offseason. Green seemed like a perfect fit. He hit 45.5 percent from 3-point range during the 2018-19 season, helping the Toronto Raptors bring home their first title. Green entered the season hitting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

With Anthony Davis occupying space in the post, and LeBron James driving at his usual pace, the Lakers needed guys who could spot up and knock down shots. That would theoretically ease the double teams on Davis and open up driving and passing lanes for James. Green was a good fit to do both and he can defend on the perimeter. What could go wrong?

Green has been solid defensively during the 2019-20 season, but his 3-point percentage has dropped by nearly nine percentage points to 36.9 percent. In the bubble, Green has been even worse.

In four bubble games, Green has hit only 4-of-20 shots from deep. In a 15-point loss against his former Raptors team, he was 0-for-6 from 3-point range and 0-for-7 from the field. In Wednesday night's 19-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Green was 2-for-7 from deep and looked like his confidence was shot. That should never happen to an 11-year veteran who has two rings.

To make matters worse, the Lakers may soon have to confront Green's track record of not shooting well in the playoffs, With the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 postseason, he hit just 34.2 percent of his attempts from deep. He hit just 25.0 percent in 2018 and 32.8 percent for the Raptors last year.

The Lakers went out and added Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith to ensure they had some offensive punch on the bench as the playoffs begin. That has produced mixed results at best. What the Lakers really need is for the guy they gave a two-year, $30 million deal to this offseason to play like they expected.

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