Toronto Raptors: Should Danny Green be more involved on offense?

Toronto Raptors - Danny Green and Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Danny Green and Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are middle of the pack in three-point percentage. What must they do moving forward to improve their numbers from downtown? Creating more open looks for Danny Green is one way.

When Danny Green was traded to the Toronto Raptors he immediately became lauded as one of the team’s primary options beyond the arc. Early on, he has lived up to those expectations. So far in 2018-2019, just under 70 percent (.677) of Green’s attempts have been threes, with No. 14 making 43 percent of those shots.

Green is Toronto’s best, most accomplished three-point shooter. He’s been much better than Kyle Lowry, who continues to be a frustratingly streaky shooter from range this season.

In the case of Green, some people forget that this guy stroked 27 “money balls” in the 2013 Finals. Now, Steph Curry does that in a weekend, but at the time, what the Green Ranger did was wildly impressive:

Since his 2013 glory days, between growing old and getting hurt, Green has turned into a slower, more methodical version of his former self.

The North Carolina product, still young-ish at 31 years of age, continues to ooze championship DNA. Of all qualifying players, Green ranks second in net rating (+11.8), trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo (11.9).

Tuesday’s loss to Houston highlighted many issues with the Raptors, primarily the bench’s struggles. However,  despite the result and poor collective showing, Danny Green finished +19, tops on the team. He also jacked up 13 threes — a season-high –, converting four and adding a pair of free throws to finish with 14 points.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that the Toronto Raptors managed to outscore the Rockets by 19 with Danny Green on the court and were outplayed by 31 in the other 16 minutes.

Toronto’s offense is at its best when it’s sharing the ball rather than when players take turns “thriving” in iso heaven. Ball movement inevitably leads to scrambling defenders, and history shows when players start moving, they eventually make a mistake.

Trying to contain the likes of Leonard, Lowry, and 2019 Most Improved Player, Pascal Siakam is no easy task. Opposing defenses need to help off somewhere, inevitably are forced to leave someone open — that’s when Danny Green strikes.

And for this team to have success, he needs to strike as much as possible. Along with Lowry, Green is one of two players on Toronto’s roster with 100+ made threes this season.

Nurse must find new and creative ways to get the ball in the hands of Green, his team’s best and most pure shooter; when Green makes four or more three-point shots, the Toronto Raptors are 10-3. And yet, his usage in February was the lowest its been in any month this season. Something needs to change. 

Next. Does Marc Gasol need to score more?. dark

As presently constructed, the Raptors primary offense won’t take place beyond the arc. That said, to make noise in the playoffs, they will at least need to keep defenses in honest.

In order to do that, players need to hit shots…

…that is, except Danny Green. He just needs to be given more opportunities to shoot.