While one NBA guard's breakout season seemed to dominate the news everywhere, another one quietly put together his own remarkable campaign.
UNC-product Danny Green found himself in the starting roster after beginning the year riding the bench. When Manu Ginobili first went down with an injury in January, the Spurs experimented with multiple substitutes before deciding on Green.
Since, Ginobili's return, Green has continued to hold the starting position, allowing Ginobili to give them an offensive spark off the bench.
Drafted in 2009 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Green rarely played during his only season with the Cavs, averaging a mere 5.8 minutes and 2.0 points. Before the 2010-11 season, Green was waived, then claimed by the Spurs. Early on he failed to impress and was cut before being brought back by Gregg Popovich near the end of the season.
Previously unable to secure a role with Cleveland and San Antonio, Green entered the 2011-2012 season as a question mark.
However, Green took advantage of a golden opportunity this season, his play landing him a prominent spot in the Spurs rotation. Green is one of many rags-to-riches stories that have developed under Popovich, who shared his thoughts on the matter.
"[He]‘s an NBA player and he’s playing with confidence. He’s been through a lot of trials and been denied many times over the last several years. He’s a great example of sticking with it, not getting down on oneself, continuing to play, improve, listen, and right now he’s playing well and has been a significant part of what we’re doing.”
While his stellar breakout performance has been overshadowed by the Linsanity in New York, Green definitely deserves consideration as the Most Improved Player.