Why Jalen Green's slump is actually a breakout

N.B. Lindberg
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Jalen Green has always had the offensive ceiling, now he’s adding the floor

The difference between great players and good players has less to do with their best performances and more to do with the worst. Take Trae Young as an example. Young has endured a horrid shooting start to the season with an eFG% of 45.9%, but his ability to get to the line, 8.2 free throw attempts per game, and dish 9.4 assists per game, has allowed him to produce the ninth-best offensive box plus/minus in the league at 5.7. 

Green isn’t anywhere near that level yet, but he’s trending in that direction, and it misses the point. Before, when Green’s shots weren’t falling he was a borderline unplayable player. Now, with a steady base of free throws and assists to build his offensive game around. The bottom doesn’t fall out on his production even when he shoots like Bismack Biyombo on bath salts. 

What some call a slump, I see as a breakout. Green has elevated his offensive floor tremendously. If he can maintain his newfound ability to get to the line and find open teammates, he won’t need to have an awesome shooting night to be a productive player. So when Green starts shooting the ball at his normal level, a bunch of people will call it his breakout, but now you know, the breakout happened days before when he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. 

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