After Danny Green’s performance for the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Dexter Strickland can see some light at the end of the tunnel for himself.
Green, an a late second-round pick in 2009 who bounced around to several teams which included the D-League, exploded for a game-high 27 points in a 113-77 win vs. the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Like Green, who Strickland maintains is "like a brother," he's possibly facing a similar trek if he is to become an NBA player. Or, Strickland might not even be drafted on June 27.
Strickland joined Mason Plumlee (Duke), Karron Johnson (Shaw), Brock Motum (Washington State), Kellen Thornton (Tennessee State) and Bruce Massey (Middle Tennessee) in workouts with the Wizards on Wednesday at Verizon Center.
A 6-3 guard, Strickland averaged 7.8 points and 4.2 assists at North Carolina as a senior. Green, who stands 6-6, averaged 13 points and just 2.7 assists as a senior with the Tar Heels.
“Just being coached by Roy Williams, him being a Hall of Fame coach … I think it’s going to give me the experience to help me be a player on the NBA level,” said Strickland, who sent Green a text message after Tuesday’s game.
Like Green, Strickland is from the New York area and a defense-first player who has to prove he can score from the perimeter. Green, who averaged 2.0 points as a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers, is averaging 18.7 in the Finals –- and shooting 70% from three-point range -- where the Spurs lead the Heat 2-1. Green shot 43% from three during the regular season which ranked him in the top 10.
Green was acquired by the Spurs in 2010, released and re-signed. It took him time to grow into a complete player.
"Coming into Carolina, I kind of altered my game for me to be a defensive player,” said Strickland, who has done about seven workouts and has three remaining. “A lot of GMs and teams haven’t seen my offensive side of the game. It’s important for me to come to these workouts, making sure my shot is right, that I’m doing well on offense to show them I can do more than being a defensive player.
"At the NBA level, there are certain guys who are excellent at what they do. I don’t have to be excellent at shooting, dribbling, passing, defense, all that at once. As long as I focus on what I can do best I’ll be alright.”