Houston Rockets vs San Antonio Spurs: X-Factor
The Rockets X-factor against the Spurs is Jalen Green. Green has been in the midst of a five-game shooting slump directly after an impressive nine-game run where he shot 49.4% from the field and 37.7% from three. Both of those figures have cratered to 36.2% from the field and 12.1% from three.
The poor shooting has been salvaged by Green’s improving ability to generate free throws, but this matchup against the Spurs is the perfect time to get right. The Spurs' defense is abysmal. If you want rim shots and open threes, which every offense does, then the Spurs are your team.
The Rockets don’t need Green to go off to win, but they will need him to right the ship as they’re about to face the Bucks, the Suns, the Heat, and the Trail Blazers in four consecutive games. In reality, the Spurs are the X-factor for Jalen Green to snap out of his shooting slump.
Even with Green struggling over the past five games, he has a 31.7% usage rate. Sink or swim, the Rockets on a game-to-game basis are going to let Jalen cook. The Rockets have beaten the teams they should, and this is another one of those games, even on the road. The path to respectability begins with not dropping games to inferior competition, and a big night from Jalen Green should be enough to seal the deal.