Houston Rockets vs Atlanta Hawks: X-Factor
The Rockets’ X-factor against the Hawks is Jalen Green. Green has struggled to find his shooting stroke over the past three games, shooting 27.5% from the field and 12.5% from 3-point range. He has been able to offset some of the worst shooting in his career by getting to the free throw line more and seeing an uptick in assists.
With his improved assist totals has come a pretty massive spike in turnovers. In his first 11 games this season, he averaged 2.3 assists and 2.4 turnovers per game. Over his past six, he’s averaging 5.7 assists and 3.8 turnovers. You’ll live with more turnovers if it means more assists, but against the Hawks, that could spell doom.
The Hawks are hyper-efficient in transition and can make teams pay for careless ball security. Green’s increased playmaking is great for his long-term development, but it will also lead to losses early on.
The Rockets need Green to regain his shooting stroke and keep the turnovers at bay to beat the Hawks. If he’s able to do that, while maintaining his newfound ability to generate free throws and assists, then the Rockets could walk away with the victory.