Houston Rockets Season Review: Jalen Green

Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets
Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets, Jalen Green
Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Jalen Green’s Epic Turn Around

Jalen Green’s statistical struggles to start his career were not without precedent. Score first guards usually stink as they adjust to NBA quality defenders. Last season it was Anthony Edwards, and in years past it was Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Zach LaVine who struggled to find their scoring touch as rookies. 

The good old-fashioned eye test should have also eased concerns about Green’s ability to get buckets. His combination of explosiveness and agility allowed him to create open looks in isolation and beat his primary defender with regularity even though the shots weren’t falling. His shooting splits from the G-League (52.9% 2P%, 36.5% 3P%, 82.9% FT%) also indicated that he wasn’t going to be an inefficient shooter for long. 

Going back to offensive rating, offensive box plus/minus, and game score Jalen Green's second-half tells the story of a player raising their ceiling and their floor immensely. Over Green’s final 32 games, he had 19 games with an ORTg above 112, 22 games with a better than 0 OBPM, and16 games that eclipsed a 15.0 game score.

The most encouraging part of Green's second-half surge is that he got stronger as the season wore on. Over his final 22 games, he bumped his scoring average up to 22.6 points per game on 48.4% shooting and 39.5% on 3-pointers, and finished the season on a scoring barrage, scoring 30 or more points in six of the final seven games with a career-high 41 points in the final game of the season.

While Green solidified his floor as a future 20 points per game scorer, there is still a tremendous amount of work for him to reach superstar status.