Los Angeles Lakers: How the team can help Danny Green be a better 3-point shooter

Danny Green is disappointed with his production from behind the arc but is he or the Los Angeles Lakers responsible for the decline in performance?

Have you ever blamed yourself for a decrease in your production at work even though there are external factors at play? If so, you’re in the same position as Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green who told Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated that he is disappointed with his production from behind the arc this year.

But Green is too hard on himself as the Lakers haven’t allowed him to live up to last year’s performance. Green’s success is dependent upon how much he plays. Green played 27.7 minutes a game last season as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

The amount of time he was on the court allowed him to receive 23.1 passes per game from his teammates and shot 5.4 three’s per game. 46.3 percent of those attempts were considered to be wide open ( six-plus feet of space between the shooter and defender) as he averaged 2.5 per game.

He converted 51.5 percent of his wide-open threes. Shooting 51.5 percent meant that Green created 3.9 points per game for the Raptors on wide-open threes. The 3.9 points per game were responsible for 52 percent of his production from behind the arc as he averaged 2.5 threes.

His 3-point production was responsible for 78.2 percent of his scoring as he averaged averaging 10.3 points per game. Unfortunately, Green has seen a significant decrease in his minutes during this season as he averaged 25.1 minutes per game. Green believes there’s a simple reason for why his minutes have been reduced, telling Christian Rivas of SB Nation:

“We play it by ear. I think every person, every player knows what the big picture. It is not about how many minutes”.

Yet while head coach Frank Vogel had been trying several lineups to see what works best, it had come at the expense of Green’s playing time. Vogel’s decision to curtail Green’s minutes is perplexing, to say the least as this Lakers’ roster has less shooting than last year’s Raptors roster.

The Raptors had four players in the rotation last year who had a career 3-point percentage of at least 36 percent (Fred VanVleet, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, and Green). On the other hand, the Lakers only have two players in the rotation who meet the criteria in Avery Bradley and Green himself.

Consequently, the Raptors were a better 3-point shooting team as they converted 36.6 percent of their 33.8 attempts per game. Conversely, the Lakers are making 35.5 percent of their 31.4 attempts per game.

More importantly, evidence suggests that the team should be giving Green more playing time because of their offensive system. The Los Angeles Lakers are running a post-up-centric offense, as they are second in the category, averaging 14.5 post-ups per game.

The Lakers’ offense requires multiple players to stand behind the arc in the role of shooter. A prime example of this can be found early in the first quarter of a road game against the LA Clippers. Bradley, Green, and LeBron James stood behind the arc as Anthony Davis tried to back Leonard down in the post.

Nevertheless, the reduction in minutes is causing him to receive fewer passes as he is averaging 21.9 per game. The combination of these factors has led to a decrease in his 3-point attempts as he is averaging 4.9 per game.

The decrease in 3-point attempts is impacting his ability to take wide-open threes as he is shooting 38.2 percent on two attempts per game. Shooting 38.2 percent is generating 2.4 points per game for the Lakers.

The wide-open three accounts for 42.1 percent of his production from behind the arc as he is shooting 37.8 percent on 4.9 attempts per game, essentially creating 5.7 points per game. His 3-point production is accounting for 69.5 percent of his total scoring output, as he is averaging 8.2 points per game.

Consequently, if the league returns from the COVID-19 hiatus, they should give more playing time as it will provide him with the best chance at replicating last year’s performance. More importantly, the team performs better with him on the court as they shoot 36.1 percent from behind the arc on 16.1 attempts generating 17.7 points per game.

The shooting output is responsible for 28.8 percent of the team’s scoring, as they are averaging 61.3 points per game. The combination of these factors helped the team outscore opponents by 8.7 points per game.

On the other hand, the team sees a slippage in productivity when he is on the bench as they shoot 34.9 percent from behind the arc on 15.7 attempts generating 16.5 points per game. The shooting output is responsible for 29.8 percent of the team’s scoring, as they are averaging 55.3 points per game.

This decline in production contributed to the team performing 52.9 percent worse as they outscore opponents by 4.6 points per game. In conclusion, it would be in the best interest of both parties to give Green more playing time moving forward.