Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 5/16/12

Danny Green has been a nice surprise for the San Antonio Spurs this year. He started the season relatively unknown, but after the injury to Manu Ginobili, Green worked his way into the starting lineup, and has been a valuable part of the team ever since.

This year was Green’s first to long consistent minutes in the NBA. It’s an opportunity that obviously doesn’t come along too often, so he’s thankful he got the chance.

"Growing up, you dream of playing in the NBA," Green says. "You get to the NBA, you realize how hard it is to make a team, to make a rotation. Every day, when I wake up, I don't believe it. When I get up, I'm one of the happiest guys in the world."

Last year, in the Spurs’ series against the Memphis Grizzlies, Green only got to play in garbage time. Even though those minutes didn’t mean much in terms of how the series ended up, it was important for him to get some experience.

"I compare it to driving," Green says. "The more miles you're on the road, the more comfortable you are behind the wheel, and not everybody's a good driver. I got opportunities to get a feel of the road."

Green has come a long way to earn his starting spot, and I don’t think anyone is going to argue that he deserves it, but he knows how important it is to stay at the top of his game. With the depth the Spurs have on their bench, if you start struggling, your spot in the lineup could be lost forever because someone is always ready to step in, something Green has to keep on his mind.

"You still have to be on your toes because you never know," he says. "You enjoy it, but you work hard to keep doing the things that got you there."

Green is going to be an important part of the Spurs drive for the NBA Finals. Last night in Game 1 versus the Clippers in the semi finals, Green chipped in with 15 points in the Spurs' win. It is safe to say he’s come a long way in a year.

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