Jalen Green has been a controversial topic among Houston Rockets fans since being drafted in 2021. Many within the fanbase wanted the team to select Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley coming out of USC, but there have been whispers regarding Mobley's disinterest in joining the Rockets.
Green has shown the ability to score at will, as he's had a litany of 30-point games and 40-point games. However, Green hasn't exactly been an efficient scorer and he doesn't provide much in terms of playmaking, as evident by his career average of 3.2 assists.
And his defense isn't exactly Dillon Brooks-esque, which was known coming out of the G-League Ignite.
In other words, if Green's shots aren't falling, he's almost a non-factor. For this reason, many Rockets fans have soured on the Fresno native.
This was on display after Saturday's win over the Sacramento Kings, in which Green had 10 points on 4-of-10 from the field, 0-for-2 from behind the 3-point arc, 2-of-7 from the free throw line, five assists, two rebounds, and three turnovers.
Rockets fans at odds over Jalen Green after latest victory
The Green criticism continued.
However, it wasn't all negative, though.
As is always the case, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Green didn't have a great game scoring-wise, but his playmaking was key. Not just because he had five assists, but because he made the right reads when it mattered most.
Granted, that doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but it has to factored into his overall performance. The issue is two-fold. For one, his biggest contribution is scoring, so when his shots aren't falling, which has largely been the case this season- 17.2 points on 39.5 percent from the floor, 31.8 percent from long-range, 73.1 percent from the free throw line, and a measly 49.2 percent true shooting- the criticism will ensue.
Also, being the second overall pick comes with expectations. Fans want a star and a reason for hope and optimism. Especially after losing James Harden shortly before Green was selected.
But truthfully, the Rockets don't exactly need Green to be a "star", by definition. He just needs to be a more efficient scorer and continue to improve upon his playmaking chops.
Although it's unpopular to say, he needs more time to develop, as he essentially played AAU ball through his first two seasons, and that takes time to unravel those bad habits.