Josh Green is beginning to come into his own during his third season with the Mavericks.
Green’s averages might not immediately jump off the page, but if you spend any time watching Dallas in action, his presence is impossible not to notice. What Green has done to start the 2022-23 season is the definition of starring in a role, something that he’ll only continue to get better at as time goes on.
What exactly does that role entail? Plays like these are a large part of it:
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) November 5, 2022
When speaking of a player’s athleticism, we sometimes limit our thoughts to the ways in which their jumping ability allows them to play above the rim. On almost a nightly basis, Green provides a reminder that athleticism also includes speed, quickness and shiftiness, all attributes he used while displaying the situational awareness to make multiple plays in the above late-clock situation.
Don’t get it confused, though. He will remind you that his athleticism allows him to play above the rim, too.
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) November 5, 2022
Whether it’s sprinting out to stop a play in transition, breaking out in the open floor, or keeping a play alive with his hustle, the activity and energy that Green brings is a nightly difference-maker for this Mavericks team.
By carving that role as a difference-maker with his energy, Green has become comfortable on the floor, allowing him to impact other facets of the game by showcasing his growth as a player.
Days after celebrating his 22nd birthday, Green put forth the best performance of his young NBA career, scoring a career-high 23 points while going 8 of 9 from the field, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
📊 23 PTS | 8-9 FG | 6-7 3PT pic.twitter.com/tklUn6bo42
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) November 21, 2022
It may be early in the season, but Green’s shooting numbers are representative of a newfound confidence in his jumper. Through 106 games over his first two seasons, Green shot 32 of 103 (31.1 percent) from beyond the arc. 16 games into his third season, Green is 17 of 32 (53.1 percent) from deep. While his efficiency will almost certainly go down, Green is on pace to shatter the number of triples he sank in his first two seasons.
Even Green will tell it: confidence is key.
“I fixed a couple things in my shot, making sure it’s a little sharper now,” Green told ESPN’s Kane Pitman during the offseason. “A lot of it is confidence, a lot of these guys are very confident when they go on the floor so it’s just building that up and being ready to go.”
A confident Green is a major development for the Mavericks, who, after falling three wins short of the NBA Finals in 2022, lost a key backcourt piece in Jalen Brunson via free agency. Green isn’t a one-for-one replacement for Brunson, but his presence fills a major need for Dallas, and it’s evident each time he steps on the floor.
For what it’s worth, Green leads the Mavericks in plus/minus at this juncture of the season, a product of his activity, energy and undeniable chemistry on the floor alongside Luka Doncic, who has assisted on a quarter of Green’s offense to start the year.
With time, Green is only going to get better by sharpening his tools and doing more of what makes him special. An understanding of his role and increased trust from Jason Kidd and the coaching staff will mean big things for Green moving forward.