The Houston Rockets found a diamond in the rough when they signed Gerald Green a little over a week ago.
Gerald Green has been the biggest bright spot for the Houston Rockets during a time when they’ve lost six of their last eight games and James Harden and Chris Paul have been in and out of the lineup with injuries. That’s a sentence that would have been inconceivable just two weeks ago.
When the Rockets signed Green on Dec. 28, they brought him in with the idea of adding some extra depth. They had until Jan. 7 to either waive or sign him, and wisely, they chose to do the latter. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets have decided to sign Green for the remainder of the season to a contract that will pay him $1.7 million.
Gerald Green was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks on opening day, and since then, Green has been trying to stay in shape by working out in the Houston area. Green has been the in the NBA since 2005, and he has always had the ability to play above the rim for earth shattering slams and to effectively shoot the ball from distance.
The Rockets needed to add some depth to the team, because with all of the injuries, the remaining healthy players were being overworked. Those injuries may turn out to be a blessing in disguise down the road, because it is unlikely that there was a better free agent signing for the Rockets than Gerald Green.
A diamond in the rough
With James Harden out, Green has been asked to step into the sixth man role, and he is taking full advantage of it. Green only played in 11 minutes in his season debut in Boston, and he didn’t score any points.
But since then, Green has scored 18 points against Washington, 10 against the Lakers, 27 in Orlando and he dropped a season high 29 points against the Warriors. Green is averaging 16.8 points on 54.9 percent shooting from the floor and 56.8 percent shooting from 3-point range.
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Against Golden State, Gerald Green converted a four-point play and he banked in a 3-pointer on his way to a 8 for 15 3-point shooting night. He was so hot, that Golden State triple teamed him toward the end of the game to force someone else to take the shot.
Obviously, Gerald Green won’t drop 25 points or eight 3-pointers every night. But, he gives Houston a nice scoring punch off of the bench, and he’s always full of energy.
James Harden is going to be out for at least another two to three weeks, and Green is going to play a lot of minutes during that time. If he can knock in the open 3-pointer and play solid defense night in and night out, the Rockets should be able to string together enough wins to sustain them until The Beard returns.
And if Green can continue a certain level of play, maybe he can stay in the rotation even once Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute returns. Mike D’Antoni likes to stick with a tight rotation, but with all of the injuries, going deeper into the bench to give the starters more rest would be a wise move.