It wasn’t all roses, but Josh Green was starting to turn heads and make an impact. After spending two seasons in the NBA, mired in the bench and trying to find his bearings, he finally got a chance to prove himself.
Instead of looking lost on the floor, the third-year winger began assembling productive flashes that justified his 18th pick in the 2020 NBA draft and earned Dallas the fourth-year pick. Although still a little rusty around the edges, he seems to be developing as a player with skills and confidence.
In Dallas’ last game, a 98-97 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Green played one of the best games of his career. He scored a career high 23 points, hitting eight of his nine goal attempts. He surpassed his previous high of 18 points, which he scored last season.
“I think I’m going to stay consistent with it, and take open shots,” Green said of his shooting feel. “I haven’t filmed the best of the last four matches, but I’ve been filming two actors for every match. [It’s] One of those things where yes, they are missing, but I was happy with how they looked. So, for me, it’s like going out and continuing to shoot them.”
Greene is right about his recent shooting slump. Prior to his scoring spree Sunday night, he had shot just 33.3% overall and 12.5% on three-pointers over his previous five games. For the season, though, he averaged 6.7 points on 63.6% shooting overall and 53.1% in depth.
Whether or not he can maintain his hot shooting numbers, with the occasional hiccup, depends on the chances he gets and the confidence he has with his shot. Even if the ball doesn’t go in, he finds other ways to influence the game positively.
One of the most obvious abilities Green brings to Earth is his speed and athleticism. Managed properly, it can be an offensive addition and a devastating presence in defence. He’s found a healthy balance of both so far this season.
Of all the Mavericks’ five-man lineups that have played together for at least 19 minutes, Green appears in three. The net ratings for these lineups are plus-7.5, plus-33.2, and plus-47.1 per NBA.com. When he’s on the floor with Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are plus-23.1. Dallas has a plus-18.9 net rating when Green is paired with Christian Wood.
Even as he progresses, Green still earns his chances. He has played 19 minutes or fewer in most of his games this season. He has only played more than 20 minutes five times, including on Sunday, when he played 30 minutes.
Green should see his playing time increase if he can continue his progress and continue to develop as an NBA player. Consider the work he’s done to get to this point; It’s encouraging to see a young player grow into a solid contributor to the Mavericks.