With the Houston Rockets' first three Summer League games in the books, Rockets' second-overall pick Jalen Green has certainly lived up to the hype that surrounded him heading into the draft. Green posted averages of 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2 assists, on ungodly efficiency, with shooting splits of 51.4% from the field, 52.6% from long-range, 92.9% from the charity stripe, and 70.7% true shooting (which is video-game-esque).
The Rockets, of course, shut Green down for the remainder of the Summer League, as he exited the third game with a potential grade 1 hamstring injury, which would carry a timeline of two weeks, if true. Green went head to head against the other two players that were drafted within the top 3 of his class, and outperformed both players.
When the Rockets faced Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Green had 23 points on 9-of-18 from the floor, while Mobley had 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting, with both players nabbing 5 rebounds (although Mobley added 3 blocks). But the Rockets' second Summer League game between Green and Cade Cunningham's Detroit Pistons was the talk of the Summer League and will likely be a budding rivalry between the two players for years to come.
Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green continues to see narratives formed far too early
Although Green's Rockets pulled out a 111-91 victory, the narratives quickly began to fly regarding Green and Cunningham, with the national media seemingly piling up on Green, suggesting that he could be in line for gaudy numbers, but may not have as great of an impact on the Rockets' win chances as Cunningham could have with the Pistons.
It seems that even the people who believe that Green will win the Rookie of the Year award can't give their rationale without slighting Green in some form or fashion. Take Brian Scalabrine, for example, who is the Boston Celtics' lead game analyst for NBC Boston, in addition to an analyst for NBA TV and Sirius XM's NBA radio, who had the following to say about Green on Sirius's The Starting Lineup.
"I think he's electric, I think he's going to win Rookie of the Year, but he is not better than Cade Cunningham. I am not taking him over Cade Cunningham, no shot."
Scalabrine is entitled to his own opinion, sure, but this is kind of strange to build up Green by stating that he'll win Rookie of the Year while simultaneously tearing him down and instantly saying that he isn't better than Cunningham. Perhaps it would have been more effective to explain why Green could win Rookie of the Year or to explain why Cunningham could be the better player of the two?
But truthfully it would be better to wait until both players have completed a sizable chunk of the season to try making a determination either way, because it's far too early to start forming narratives, in the case of either player.