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The Long Road Pays Off

(photo by: www.kvue.com)

Danny Green and Gary Neal were both terrific college players but both guys had to wait their turn to make it to a successful point in the NBA.  Green was a defensive and 3-point specialist at the University of North Carolina and Neal averaged 25.3 points in his senior year at Towson University. However, Neal and Green seemed to be constantly overlooked on the professional level. Green was a benchwarmer in his first season as a Cleveland Cavalier in the 2009-2010 season. Neal, who graduated from Towson in 2007, did not even get drafted despite being one of the most gifted scorers in college basketball that year. Neal spent three years in Europe, playing in Turkey, Spain and Italy. Thankfully, both Neal and Green found a home in San Antonio in 2010 and have been lighting it up from behind the arc ever since.

Let’s fast forward to last night’s game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The Spurs were coming off of an embarrassing 103-84 blowout loss to the Heat in game 2. Little did Miami know that Neal and Green would bring a heavy barrage of three-point bombs to game 3. San Antonio knocked down an NBA Finals- record 16 3-pointers and most of the work from downtown was done by none other than Green and Neal. Both players were absolutely deadly! By combining for 51 points, 18-32 from the field and a shocking 13-19 from the 3-point line, the dynamic duo of Green and Neal led the Spurs to a walloping 113-77 statement win over the Heat. The 36-point loss was Miami’s worst playoff loss in franchise history, which is not surprising because San Antonio was clicking on all cylinders!

Neal and Green had to work hard to get to this point in their careers.  Their performances in game 3 were reflections of hard work and resiliency. Green was once a forgotten Tar Heel. Neal was a forgotten prominent college scorer. Now, these two are on top of the world. Major media outlets across the country are praising both players and for good reason. Shooting performances are widely celebrated, especially if two players can go 13-19 when letting the long ball fly. Green and Neal are the talk of the town in San Antonio and have given a major contribution to the Spurs’ 2-1 lead over the Heat in the Finals.

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