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How Gerald Green’s injury will affect the Houston Rockets’ rotation

By Lachard Binkley
Houston Rockets Gerald Green (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Gerald Green (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets guard Gerald Green is believed to have suffered a broken left foot that could sideline him for a few months.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Gerald Green, who was initially diagnosed with a sprained left foot, is now believed to have broken his left foot. Green, going into his 13th NBA season, is expected to be a key contributor off the bench for the Houston Rockets this year.

While the news hasn’t been reported yet on exactly what the injury is, chances are the 33-year-old will miss significant time no matter what it turns out to be. With the season approaching, there’s no doubt the Rockets will want to take every precaution before rushing back their swingman.

Rockets insider Alykhan Bijani shared on Twitter what is believed to be the play that led to the foot injury:

Gerald Green got injured on this play in Japan. Now the fear is that he suffered a broken left foot. #Rockets pic.twitter.com/ssl7ZW5TPb

— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) October 13, 2019

The injury is certainly unfortunate, as Green had some good showings in the preseason so far. In his limited minutes, he has been hustling on both ends of the floor, contributing on the glass and knocking down threes.

While the news is certainly disappointing, at least the situation will give opportunities for younger guys to show what they’re made of with increased minutes.

The effect on the Rockets’ rotation

Coming into the season, the Rockets’ guard rotation has been James Harden and Russell Westbrook starting while Green and Austin Rivers would come off the bench for spot minutes.

Ben McLemore has had an impressive preseason so far and could benefit the most from the unfortunate injury. McLemore has shown an ability to hit the corner three with regularity so far, which could earn him a more prominent spot in the Rockets’ rotation. Recently, Mike D’Antoni offered some praise for the 26-year-old former lottery pick:

Mike D'Antoni on if Ben McLemore will have a role with the Rockets during the regular season:

"We'll see. That's still evolving, but I wouldn't be surprised. He has played well and we'll keep looking at him."

— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) October 13, 2019

Another candidate for more minutes is Chris Clemons, who has impressed the Rockets staff from NBA Summer League all the way through the preseason. The 5’9 guard has shown great ability off the bounce and scoring in the lane among bigger defenders. Even at his size, he could be in line for extra minutes with Green out.

Green’s absence could even lead to a change in the starting lineup. The Rockets may choose to have Gordon coming off the bench in the future to help fill the void left by Green, which would more than likely lead to Danuel House moving to the starting lineup.

Starting Danuel House might be inevitable for Rockets. Related Story

Even though Green is not a household name, the 15 minutes he provides per game can sometimes lead to big nights off the bench for the Rockets. His ability to pull up from anywhere and knock down threes fits in perfectly with D’Antoni’s offensive scheme. In a tough Western Conference, a team’s depth can be the difference between home court and starting on the road.

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The Houston Rockets will no doubt miss Green, but they do have capable players off the bench that could step up into bigger roles for the time being.

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