Spurs’ Danny Green expected to miss four weeks with fractured left hand
One of the deepest teams in the NBA will have to endure another loss to its rotation, as Spurs guard Danny Green suffered a nondisplaced fracture in his left hand on Sunday. Green, who is averaging 22.4 minutes per game this season, is expected to miss four weeks of action.
The injury, initially diagnosed as a sprained finger, occurred during the first half of San Antonio’s game against Minnesota on Sunday. Green logged just nine minutes in the game — the majority of which came in the first quarter, with just a half-minute stint in the second before exiting the game for good.
It’s been an odd season for Green, who has appreciably cooled off since blitzing the Heat on three-pointers in the 2013 NBA Finals. Even then, it’s all relative; Green’s still-quite-good 38.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc would be an impressive mark for most, but on an individual basis it reflects Green’s worst long-range shooting season in three years. Over his previous two seasons in San Antonio, Green had converted 43.1 percent of his long-range attempts — one of the 10 highest marks among qualifying shooters in that time. The fall has been brutal at times, though, with Green erring into a particularly notable 3-for-21 stretch in three-point shooting in the five games prior to his injury.
On a larger level, Green has been pulled in and out of the starting lineup throughout this season, in part due to Popovich’s attempts to jump-start his opening unit’s offensive production. Swapping out Green for Belinelli hasn’t quite done the trick, though San Antonio is notably four points better per 100 possessions with Belinelli assuming Green’s spot in the standard starting five. Both variations have notably failed to live up to the Spurs’ offensive standards, though, and with that Popovich and his team continue to search for answers. That Green joins center Tiago Splitter on the shelf would seem to add to the Spurs’ defensive challenges as well, while testing the full fortitude of San Antonio’s rotation.