Saturday's victory over the Sacramento Kings sparked criticism towards Jalen Green, as he scored a measly 10 points, which is far less than what he's capable of. In that game, Green was also passive, as he took just 10 shots and had just seven total free throws.
The skeptics and naysayers were loud, and even questioned whether Green is capable of morphing into a star (although he doesn't necessarily have to become that).
Well, as it turns out, Green heard it all and made it a point to silence them in Monday's game against Sacramento.
Green came out aggressive early in the game and attacked the Kings' defense, drawing nine free throw attempts in the first half alone. One key difference between Green's game in Monday's victory over the Kings and Saturday's win over Sacramento is that Green converted on his attempts from the charity stripe.
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green silences skeptics and naysayers in the Rockets' victory over the Kings.
On Saturday, Green went 2-of-7 from the free throw line, whereas he went 10-of-12 from the charity stripe on Monday, both of which were game-highs. That wasn't the only game-high for the third-year guard, as he led all players with 23 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and had 19 points in the first half.
Rockets coach Ime Udoka gave Green his flowers after the game, while explaining the key difference from Saturday's game.
"He was looking for his shot a little bit more, not kinda pre-determining like he had last game. He kinda took what they gave him. But also, the numbers show by the free throws. 12 free throws, he was aggressive, getting downhill, getting to the basket, attacking when we were in the bonus. I think he mixed it up better tonight."
And although the shot attempts weren't as high as fans were hoping to see, he made the most of his scoring opportunities and didn't force any shots. Green went 3-of-5 from long range and shot 80.5 percent true shooting.
All told, Green was aggressive, assertive, and efficient and used his athleticism to blow past the Kings' guards, which made it easy for him to get to the foul line.
Green's play, along with Alperen Sengun's playmaking, lifted the Rockets to a 122-97 victory. It also shouldn't be understated just how difficult it is to be a team two times in a row, and the game wasn't nearly as close as the final score, as the Rockets held a 40-point lead at one point in the contest.
Now, Green will have to continue to maintain this level of play, since he's proven that he's capable of having these types of performances.