Danny Green Earns ‘Playoff Danny’ Nickname From Lakers

Danny Green Earns ‘Playoff Danny’ Nickname From Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 116-98 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.

One notable contributing factor to LA’s victory was the solid production of Danny Green.

Green, 33, has been much-maligned over the course of the Lakers’ postseason run due to his inconsistent offensive production, but he stepped up against Miami. He recorded 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in 30 minutes of action. His +21 +/- was second to only Anthony Davis’ +23 – essentially making him the anti-Tyler Herro in Game 1.

This has actually been an ongoing trend. A lot of what Green provides for this Lakers group isn’t immediately apparent in the box score, but it matters.

The Lakers are 21.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than him off it. His defense, intelligence and instincts have been essential to this year’s playoff run – even if he does clank a troubling amount of jumpers.

After Game 1, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – who dug LA out of a deep early hole – shouted out Green’s efforts and revealed the team’s nickname for him.

“We know what Danny can do and we just encourage him every game to keep shooting,” he said.

“We know that Playoff Danny is going to come out and knock down shots like he did tonight.”

Interestingly enough, a more appropriate nickname for Green might be Finals Danny. Over the course of three appearances in the NBA Finals, he has recorded 10.7 points per outing and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc.

While those totals obviously won’t put him in the discussion for Finals MVP, they are integral to title success.

Which explains why Green is a two-time champion.

After Wednesday night’s game, LeBron James reflected on the victory.

“You can learn so much more from a win than you can in a loss,” James said.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow for us to get back together and watch the film and see ways we can be better.”

He also acknowledged that the team’s slow start in the beginning of the outing was a problem – but an inevitable one.

“I don’t think in the beginning that we were physical enough,” James said.

“You have to get a feel for how hard Miami plays. I think they smacked us in the mouth, and we got a sense of that. And so we knew how hard we had to play if we wanted to try to make it a game. You know, from that moment when it was 23-10, we started to play to our capabilities.”

James finished the game with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists in 36 minutes of action.

Davis, the team’s unquestionable star over the last few rounds, ended the day with 34 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks in 38 minutes.

“The bigger the moment, he’s just raising his play,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said of Davis after the game.

“It’s easy for AD,” Lakers power forward Markieff Morris agreed.

“Like I’ve been saying since I got on this team, honestly, if you ask me … we got LeBron [James], but I think he’s the best player in the world.

“He [does] it on both ends, he’s doing it consistently every night, he gives you what you ask for every night.”

The Lakers certainly made a statement in Game 1. Will they be as successful throughout the entire series? Time will tell.

Game 2 between LA and Miami is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at 6:00 pm. It will air on ABC.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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