Houston Rockets: 3 Keys to Jalen Green v Cade Cunningham Round 1

N.B. Lindberg
2021 NBA Draft
2021 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages
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Jalen Green, Cade Cunningham, Houston Rockets
Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Houston Rockets: Jalen Green v Cade Cunningham key #3 3-point shooting

3-point shooting has become the single most important skill in the NBA. Look no further than the decisions the Phoenix Suns made this offseason. The organization gave Mikal Bridges, a career 37.7-percent 3-point shooter, four years and $90 million, and failed to offer Deandre Ayton, who has taken 41 career threes, a contract that garnered real negotiations. 

Green and Cunningham are both embolic of this shift. Green has taken over half of his shots from 3-point range and Cunningham is at a dead even 50/50 split. The winner of round one will likely be the young man who hits more of his threes. 

Green’s slight edge in 3-point shooting over Cunningham this season shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Green spent last season in the G-League shooting NBA threes against near NBA caliber opponents. Cunningham, spent last season shooting behind the shorter college 3-point line against mostly amateur-level talent. The early season gap isn't a surprise but it might not last. Cunningham, as a prospect, was the first pick because of his perceived shooting ability. 

There’s as good a chance that both rookies catch fire as they throw up bricks all night. Early on, look for who has it going from behind the arc because that should be the key to who ends up with the most points in round one.