NBA Finals 2013: Red-Hot Danny Green Remains Key for Spurs to Beat Heat

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NBA Finals 2013: Red-Hot Danny Green Remains Key for Spurs to Beat Heat
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

From here on out we’re watching history every time Danny Green spots up and drains a three-pointer.

His 2013 NBA Finals performance to this point can be summed up rather poignantly with just one simple but emphatic word: wow.

During Game 5, Green broke the NBA Finals record for most three-pointers by a single player in the series, all of which you can watch in this video courtesy of NBA.com.

Here's a look at the shot that set the record, provided by the NBA on ESPN:

Put his achievement into perspective for a second. Not Larry Bird, not Ray Allen, not Steve Kerr—not anyone in the history of the NBA has shown up as big as Green has during the Finals.

Allen, who previously held the record with 22 three-balls during the 2008 Finals, was visibly dismayed after Green hit his 23rd three of the series with 9:39 remaining in the third quarter of Game 5:

Rayallenreacts_original

And it only took an out-of-this-world performance by Green to get it done. He connected on 23 of his 33 attempts from beyond the arc to set the record, blowing away the 42 attempts it took Allen to set his mark.

While San Antonio Spurs fans chant “MVP” for Tony Parker, a new icon has emerged in the Texas town. Golden State Warriors backup point guard Scott Machado expressed a growing sentiment around the country after those chants picked up for Parker during Game 5:

Parker is definitely a significant and vital key to everything the Spurs have been able to achieve up to this point. The offense feeds off of his ability to penetrate and create for his teammates.

But ask yourself one question: Would San Antonio even be in this position if Green didn’t erupt from downtown?

Cast away by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Spurs—twice—Green has helped put his team in a position not many thought was possible heading into the postseason: one game away from eliminating the star-studded defending champion Miami Heat.

What he’s done isn’t just impressive and historic; it’s legendary.

San Antonio has found three different ways to win games during this series. Tony Parker dominated the second half of Game 1 while Green contributed an understated 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep. Next, Green and Gary Neal unleashed a bombardment of three-pointers that no team could survive. In Game 5, it was Manu Ginobili and Green sparking a win, each scoring 24 points.

Throughout the entire series, just one thing has remained constant, win or lose, for the Spurs: Danny Green has been lights out from downtown.

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Could the Spurs seal the series without Green playing at his current high level moving forward? They did it in Game 1 without an explosion by the former North Carolina Tar Heel. They are definitely a very well-rounded team that can find different ways to win games.

But don’t fool yourself. If Green goes cold in Miami, the Spurs may run out of answers when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are fighting with their backs against the wall. Their Game 4 performance is a friendly reminder of what they are capable of.

Green, though, is knocking down triples at a higher rate than anyone has ever done on the biggest stage imaginable. He doesn't appear to be showing any signs of stopping, either. The Spurs need him to keep it up in order to squash any hopes the Heat have of ending the series as back-to-back NBA champions.

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