From lottery pick to heart surgery, Jeff Green is the Rockets’ X-Factor

Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

Why Green is a matchup nightmare for the Thunder

With Green on the court, Steven Adams or Nerlens Noel will not be able to clog the lane. This means they will be forced to make a choice regarding whether to stay in the lane and give up a wide-open 3-pointer or to go out to the perimeter and risk Green getting to the lane.

Since joining the Rockets, Green is shooting 79.7 percent inside of 10 feet, which is fifth-best during that time frame. This represents 49.7 percent of his shots, so it’s clearly not a small sample size either. This will be a big part of the Rockets’ game when running the pick-and-roll with Harden, since he will be double-teamed throughout the series.

Coming into the season, Green was an afterthought for most Houston Rockets fans. With Green having been a role player on the hated Utah Jazz, he was just another player to root against. But fast forward ten months (yes 10 months) and Green is now one of the most valuable players on the Rockets.

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If the Rockets are to advance in the playoffs, they will need Green to continue his stellar play. With everything Green has been through, playoff pressure is no big deal.