By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com
SAN ANTONIO — Spurs sharpshooter Danny Green lit up the Heat a year ago in Games 1 and 2 in Miami, making 10 of his 15 shots from beyond the arc. That type of accuracy is exceptional, and on the road it’s extraordinary.
In Games 6 and 7 back in Miami, Green fell back to earth, going 2-for-19 from 3-point range. His long-distance shooting is critical to San Antonio’s success. The beneficiary of drive-and-kick passes from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, he’s often afforded open looks and can be the driving force in momentum-shifting runs.
Role players are always said to be much better performers in the comfort of their own arenas than in hostile environments, and Green has played to that trend so far during these playoffs. On 3-pointers, he’s shooting a remarkable 59.2 percent (38-for-66) at home and 31.3 percent (23-for-61) on the road.
In the last two series against Portland and Oklahoma City, he’s 21-for-35 (60 percent) from deep at home and 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) on the road.
“The last series, the two games we lost on the road against OKC, they played us tough and they were high on emotions and they closed out even better to our shooters,” Green said. “But we didn’t move the ball as well as we should have, like we wanted to. We can’t have games like that where we give them a game or two by not playing Spurs basketball. We have to continue to do that each and every night where we play our game, aggressive defense and offensively moving the ball and finding our shooters and taking uncontested shots.”
During their run to now a fourth consecutive Finals appearance, the Heat have been one of the league’s top defenses closing out at the 3-point line. They can put immense pressure on the perimeter, causing contested shots or creating turnovers that put LeBron James and company in transition.
Miami has not been very good at preventing 3-pointers this postseason, allowing 38.1 percent. The Spurs led the league in 3-point percentage during the regular season, and after the Dallas Mavericks aimed to take away San Antonio’s 3-point shots in the first round, and with some success, the Spurs have recovered and are shooting it at 39.2 percent throughout the playoffs.
“We have to do a better job of finding each other and taking uncontested shots,” Green said. “That’s the biggest key for us, moving the ball, be aggressive and at the same time be smart. We want to penetrate and move the ball to the open man.”