It's safe to say that the start to Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green's third year in the NBA has been nothing short of inconsistent. There were a lot of expectations for Green to instantly take a third-year leap that most high-drafted stars take.
The month of December was not kind to Green at all, as he saw career-lows that date back even to his rookie campaign. Green averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and a shocking 32.1 percent from three (6 attempts).
The most shocking revelation of this was his inability to score willingly at a consistent rate. His jump shot also looked pedestrian, but there seemed hope for Green as he was still hitting his free throws with a rate of 82 percent.
Not only was his shot not going down, but he forced Rockets coach Ime Udoka to bench him in multiple fourth quarters this season. This led most of the fanbase to start using fake trade packages to move on from the former number two overall pick.
Now look, I am not going to defend Green just because he's a top lottery pick, but he does need to play better. Even with his jumper not going down, he needs to start finishing at the rim.
So many times, we have seen Green throw up a lackidaisical shot to the cup while also losing the ball mid-air.
However, let's get into the positives.
3. Jalen Green is still a very young player
Let's remember that he is still only a 21-year-old, who is also in a new structural system with a coach who holds players accountable. There are many in the fanbase who want to share the blame of Green's shortcomings on veteran guard Fred VanVleet, but with Green's overall play, VanVleet is forced to play 40 minutes essentially every night because Green can't find his way on the court in the fourth quarter.
2. Green's recent stretch suggests he's still capable of being a good player
The last three games for the Rockets have showcased Green's superstar potential. Green is averaging 25.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 67.5 true shooting percent, and a whomping 53 percent from three.
1. Alperen Sengun's presence makes the game easier for Green
The fluidity of Green's play should also be credited to breakout star Alperen Sengun who always makes the game easier for everyone, but especially for Green. Their chemistry first started during their rookie years, but former Rockets coach Stephen Silas never seemed to to put much emphasis on it.
Coach Udoka has said on occasion that he wants to implement more of a Sengen and Green two-man game plan of attack, but this mostly revolves on Green's play. So far, Sengun and VanVleet are finding more sets ran together, which is well-deserved. This team is going to go as far as Jalen Green can take them.