One key area the Rockets’ young backcourt needs to make a leap

N.B. Lindberg
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Jalen Green misses the corner but makes the shot

Green has been asked to do far less lead playmaking, but if he is ever going to be an elite on-ball creator, he will need to improve his ability to hit shooters in the corner. This play captures all of Green’s strengths and a glaring weakness. 

Green does incredibly well to get into the paint and draw three defenders to him. Instead of using his driving gravity to kick out to a wide-open Eric Gordon in the corner, he takes an off-balance layup. The play is a highlight because it was exceptional, but the right decision would have been to kick out to Gordon and take the 40% chance at three points. 

Hitting the corners is the next step in Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.'s evolution

The pair haven’t completely abstained from passes to the corners, but it’s clearly not a pass they’re looking for or comfortable making. LeBron James and Luka Doncic routinely pass up good shots to hit shooters in the corners. The knock-on effect is that it forces help defenders to stay home more often, allowing them to do even more damage when they get into the teeth of the defense. 

The Rockets’ offense is improving along with their two young guards, but the pair have a long way to go as floor generals. Their ability to create shots is fantastic, but the best offensive players weaponize those traits to get their teammates easy looks too.

This isn’t an indictment of their potential. It's a realization of where they stand today and the strides they need to take over the course of the season. By being more cognizant of the corners, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green can take their game to the next level. 

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