If you read the title of this post last week you would call
me crazy. However, Green has shined throughout the finals thus far. The
shooting guard from North Carolina wasn't a superstar during the regular
season, averaging 10.5 points a game. However, with Ginobli injured, Green was
given the job of filling the former all-star's role, which was no easy task. Ginobli,
a 3-point specialist, would come in off the bench for the Spurs and ignite the
team with clutch 3-pointers. Now, this job was Green's. These games became Green's shot to show that
he was for real, and so far he has proven just that.
Green already broke a major record this series, sinking 25
buckets from behind the arc, three more than any other player in history. With
at least one game remaining, Green will have the opportunity to add to this
total. In four out of the five games played thus far, Green has shot at least
60% from deep, and is making almost two out of every three 3-pointers he takes.
He is also shooting 83% from the free throw line.
Against Miami, Green is averaging 18 points a game and
shooting about 57% from the field. However, this number isn't a true
representation of Green's performance. Let's take out the two losses to the Heat
In the three wins that the Spurs have over the Heat this
series, Green is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal per
game. His 27 points in Game 3 were more than any other player for the Spurs and
his 24 points yesterday combined with Ginobli's 25 and Parker's 26 led the team
to within one game of a championship.
The Spurs' usual stars are getting the job done, but let's
compare what they've done to what Green has done. First up is point guard Tony
Parker. Parker is an all-star and arguably the leader of the team. His aforementioned
26 point performance last night was his best performance of the series thus
far. However, before last night, Parker was averaging about 14 points per game
this series. He made six of eight free throws last night, but made only eight
of the other 14 he had shot in the previous four games. He's averaging 2.6
turnovers a game compared to Green's 1, and only .4 steals and .2 blocks.
Parker has the clear advantage when it comes to assists, but he's a point
guard, his job is to pass the ball. Parker also shot above 50% in only two of
the five games played. So between Parker and Green, Green has clearly been the
better player this series.
Now let's look at veteran center Tim Duncan. Duncan has been
with the Spurs for 16 years and already has multiple championship rings. He's
averaging 15.6 points a game and 11.2 rebounds, which are the type of numbers
you'd expect from the experienced player. However, Green is averaging the same
number of blocks as Duncan in the series, and Green is a shooting guard! Duncan
only has one steal for the entire series, and is averaging 2.2 turnovers per
game. Duncan is certainly helpful on the boards, but his 46% shooting
percentage is nothing special. So again, Green has clearly been the better
There is still at least one game left this series. Green can
solidify his spot as the Finals MVP with a stellar performance. However, it
will definitely be tough playing against the Heat in their own building, but as
the young player has already proven, anything is possible.