Danny Green's three-mendous performance worthy of MVP
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SAN ANTONIO -- Might be time to light a few flares and place them around Danny Green as a precautionary measure.
Getting too close to the North Babylon native might cause the skin to singe. The Spurs forward has been that hot through five games of the NBA Finals, turning in a record-breaking performance that's helped put San Antonio on the cusp of its fifth Larry O'Brien Trophy, and the defending champion Heat on the brink of elimination.
As the series resumes in Miami Tuesday night with the Spurs up 3-2, Green's off-the-charts shooting has people buzzing, and even he can't remember ever scorching the nets at this ridiculous rate.
"I've had some heat flashes in my day. I don't think for long stretches," Green said Sunday night after scoring 24 points, draining 6 of 10 three-pointers on the way to shattering Ray Allen's record for most threes in the Finals. "But this season has been a pretty good shooting season for me. I've had a couple of games, most of the games back to back, where it's been carried over. Right now, everything is working well for me. I'm feeling truly blessed right now."
Green's numbers are beyond eye-popping, the type of stuff typically seen only in video games. He's blown past Allen's mark of 22, and is 25-for-38 (65.8 percent) from beyond the arc, including 21-for-29 since Game 1. His 18.0 Finals scoring average leads San Antonio.
Those gaudy stats have some pegging him -- not Tony Parker or Tim Duncan -- as the early front-runner for Finals MVP.
"Yeah, Danny has been playing great," Parker said. "He's making shots. I can't believe he's still open at this moment of this series. 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."
Perhaps still in that shooter's zone, where he's impervious to arms, legs and anything else flying at him, Green believes the Heat is not simply leaving him unguarded.
"I don't think many of my shots are that wide open," he said. "Some of them, yeah, I'm surprised. Tony, Timmy and Manu [Ginobili] are doing a great job of sucking in the defense, 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."
Erik Spoelstra said it's imperative for the Heat to get that defensive breakdown corrected and it begins with more of a commitment.
"He's getting some open looks, and he's making some contested looks," the Heat coach said. "But the open looks are the ones that are killing us."
Dwyane Wade said: "Give him credit. He's making some hell of a shots. He's also getting some stuff in transition, as well. They're running a lot and he's the beneficiary of Tony Parker's penetration . . . Not many guys have shot the ball this well, especially in the Finals, that I can remember."
Duncan was almost at a loss for words in describing Green's performance -- and not just on the offensive end.
"He's been unbelievable," Duncan said. "Especially on this stage. He's shooting the ball so well. We're asking him to defend Dwyane Wade and LeBron and all these guys. He's got a lot on his shoulders and he's stepped up and answered the bell. He's been unbelievable. I hope he doesn't wake up and keeps playing this way."