Green, whose move to the starting lineup in 2011-12 allowed the Spurs to use Manu Ginobili as a sixth man, has soared in the playoffs, while the three-time NBA champion has largely struggled.
As one man falters, another picks up the slack.
Before Ginobili's big Game 5 on Sunday, he was averaging 10.6 points while shooting 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc. In the NBA Finals, the 35-year-old was averaging 7.5 points while shooting 35 percent from the floor and 19 percent from downtown (yes, 19 percent).
Meanwhile, Green was shooting 48 percent from the field and 51 percent from three-point land headed into Game 5. He proceeded to break Ray Allen's record for three-pointers in an NBA Finals by dropping six more en route to 24 points on Sunday. And the Spurs won, 114-104.
Here's Danny Green's shot chart for the 2013 NBA playoffs so far, via NBA.com:
Keep in mind, before playing 66 games (38 starts) for the Spurs last year, Green had been waived twice since being drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009. He was waived by the Cavaliers after playing 20 games in his rookie season. Then he played eight games for the Spurs in 2010-11 before being waived again and falling to the D-League.
But the Spurs kept Green in mind, especially after he played well in the D-League. They are glad they did now.
While the Spurs certainly have stars in Tony Parker and Tim Duncan (as well as a spectacular young talent in Kawhi Leonard), numerous players have stepped up for them in the playoffs, from Green to fellow guard Gary Neal to forward Boris Diaw (who, by the way, did a number defensively on LeBron James on Sunday).
These kinds of contributions are practically expected from Gregg Popovich, of course. In fact, we have come to expect it from his teams. When you are a four-time NBA champion, you've done a pretty good job as a coach.
Green is yet another example of the Spurs' ability to bring hidden talents along until they become a big part of a championship contender.