Why Jalen Green's slump is actually a breakout

N.B. Lindberg
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
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Jalen Green’s so-called slump

Jalen Green has been in a so-called slump over the past three games, but that is a very superficial way to look at his production. Yes, he is shooting 27.5% from the field and 12.5% from 3-point range, but he has managed to average 16.3 points per game on only 13.3 field goal attempts. 

It is incredibly difficult to shoot that poorly from the field on that few attempts and still average 16.3 points, and it’s all because Green is getting to the free throw at will. His ten free throw attempts per game are the most he has ever averaged over a three-game span in his career. 

But wait, there’s more. Green is averaging five assists per game over that span and 5.7 over his last six games. While those aren’t Tyrese Haliburton numbers, they represent a massive playmaking spike for Green, who was averaging 2.3 assists per game in his first 11 games. 

Jalen Green's down stretches are getting better

Comparing Green’s first slump to his most recent shows exactly how much his offensive floor has risen by improving his ability to generate free throws and assists. Using game score, which is weighted to produce a figure akin to points per game, and offensive rating, we can see that Green’s low periods are getting far less low, even if he is shooting worse from the field. 

Over Green’s four-game downturn at the end of October, he managed a ghastly 30.4% eFG% to go along with a 78 offensive rating, the league average is 112.3, and a game score of 4.7. There’s no sugarcoating it. That’s about as bad as it can get. 

However, over this current three-game nosedive, Green has an eFG% of 30%, an offensive rating of 96, and a game score of 10.4. When the eight-part Netflix documentary on Jalen Green is produced, it’s unlikely that they’ll look at this stretch as a moment of triumph, but it certainly looks like an inflection point in his career.