Houston Rockets basketball is officially back. The Rockets tipped off their season Wednesday night with a 107-117 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. While the result wasn’t what fans were hoping for, the Rockets looked competitive and showed that this is a much-improved team from the previous two seasons. These are the studs and one dud from the Rockets’ opening game.
Dud #1: Jalen Green
Jalen Green won’t be a dud for long. He routinely got the shots he wanted but just could convert. His 16 points on seven of 20 shooting from the field and one of seven from three, simply wasn’t good enough. He also only got to the free throw line once.
He did chip in three assists but that came at the cost of three turnovers. On defense, Green did a good job against Atlanta’s All-Star backcourt. The highlight of the game for Green was a blocked shot of a Trae Young 3-pointer that led to a monster dunk.
Stud #2: Kevin Porter Jr.
Kevin Porter Jr. had a stellar statistical game. He scored 21 points on nine of 19 shooting from the field and three of five from three, grabbed seven rebounds, dished seven assists, swiped two steals, and only had four turnovers. Stuffing the stat sheet with that level of efficiency is how you make these types of lists.
Porter also went four of six on shots in the lane that weren’t at the rim. Last season, that was an area where he really struggled. If he can continue to be efficient from that area, he could be in for a monster season.
Stud #1: Bruno Fernando
We’re grading on a curve here, but Bruno Fernando was absolutely sensational in the opener. Fans were shocked to hear that he would get the starting nod over Alperen Sengun and he rewarded the coaching staff’s faith.
Fernando scored seven points on three of three shooting from the field, seized nine rebounds, supplied seven assists, swatted two blocks, and had no turnovers.
It’s hard to have a more efficient game than the one Fernando did, and if he keeps it up, Alperen Sengun may have to settle for sixth man.