Rockets

Green the Last Piece to Houston’s New Puzzle?

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At last, we have Summer League action after it was canceled last year.

With all the hype built around this draft, it’s exciting to see all the new draftees, undrafted players and others seeking a spot on an NBA roster. The Houston Rockets seemed to be caught in a pickle between drafting Jalen Green or Evan Mobley at No. 2 or even trading up to No. 1 to snag Cade Cunningham. Having set their eyes on Green, they were able to keep that pick and make other moves.

Summer-League Debut

Ironically enough, Green’s debut was against Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When I say this guy is going to be good, he’s going to be extremely good. He started the game slow, being 2-of-7 at one point, but his swagger flooded in after that. He finished the first half with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting overall and 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. For his first bucket, he used a hostage dribble to keep the defender on his hip to create contact for the and-one. Throughout the game, Green showcased his smooth and swift handles while creating space for step-back jumpers.

Look familiar? Rockets fans have witnessed this move countless times from Houston legend James Harden. This wasn’t the only one he executed, as he started to cook once the second half began.

To start the second half, Green hit back-to-back threes where you could see his on-court swagger kicking in knowing he can catch fire instantly. He led the Rockets to an 84-76 win, posting 23 points (9/18 FG, 4/9 3PT), five rebounds and two assists.

From this game, there’s one player that comes to mind with similarity: Bradley Beal.

Bradley Beal

Beal came into this league as a bucket-getter. He’s improved so much throughout his career and developed himself as one of the world’s most potent scorers. He’s averaged 30.5 and 31.3 points per game in his past two seasons and is evidently efficient.

For his career, he shoots splits of 45.6/37.7/82. In Green’s lone season with the G League Ignite, he shot 46.1/36.5/82.9 from the stripe.

Their games are eerily similar, especially their style of step-backs.

The smooth handles and ability to pick spots is essential for lethal scorers. The athleticism and mix-matching of midrange jumpers and threes is extremely similarly between the two, with Green being even more athletic.

At 19 years old, Green is much more prepared and skilled especially with developing in the new G League program for top high-school prospects. Interestingly enough, they will have both played alongside John Wall. Wall can help mentor Green with learning how to establish himself on multiple spots on the floor to then obtain high-quality shots.

There’s Direction in Houston, Again

After losing James Harden and Russell Westbrook, fans seemed doomed with the direction of the franchise. Acquiring Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. has helped rejuvenate the roster, and drafting Green has Rockets fans excited for what the future holds.

From the swagger, to the confidence, to the hair, to the short-shorts — and even the blinging draft-day suit — is all this franchise needs. He fits right in well next to Porter Jr. to create one of the most explosive and potent backcourts this league has yet to see. On draft day, the crowd chanted “CADE!” with Green nodding his head, looking around to say “Okay, just watch.”

With all the noise surrounding Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green is determined to showcase why he should’ve been selected number one overall and is the best player in the draft.

And I think he can do just that.

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About Corey Randall

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