Rockets News

Jalen Green: Silencing critics one game at a time

Memphis Grizzlies v Houston Rockets
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Jalen Green's growth on defense and rebounding 

Green’s defense is still a work in progress, however, there’s been some positive signs. He’s making strides in the right direction. Yet another positive sign that the organization has its foundational piece. We’ll focus on a few areas the second-year guard has improved.

One of the biggest improvements in his game on the defensive end? On ball defense.

As reported here by Rob Kimbell.

Showing his competitive drive doesn’t just arrive on the offensive end. Green’s quietly becoming, dare I say it, a lockdown defender in year two. Jalen’s strong efforts against All-Star perennials Trey Young and Ja Morant led them to shoot a combined 1-12 from the field. Although it’s a small sample size, fans are ecstatic about his potential on the perimeter.

The last part of solid team defense is securing the rebound. Understanding that, Jalen has been on the glass more frequently to start the season. He’s already raised his rebound average by +1 from his rookie campaign, and it’ll likely soar higher as the season progresses. If he reaches 5.0 rpg (currently 4.3 rpg) to go with his scoring (24.0 ppg), watch out. Last season only a handful of guards in the Western Conference accomplish 20+ points and 5+ rebounds. Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, and Devin Booker headline the list, and it’s not far-fetched for Green to add his name this year.

With Green, this could be impactful in a multitude of ways. When guards crash the glass it opens opportunities in transition. Taking “Grab and Go” rebounds will bode well with Jalen’s skill set. He can catch defenses before they can load up, and simply getting into their sets earlier will help this young squad. On most occasions, he’ll be turning rebounds into highlight reels.

The Houston Rockets will look to take full advantage of these types of opportunities. Turning defense into offense and getting easy baskets is key to helping these young players buy into the scheme. Green has improved in a variety of ways, none may be more meaningful to his team than defensively. Will it be enough to silence those critics? It should be, but only time will tell.