Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Rockets rookie Jalen Green’s shooting surge tied to other improvements

The dramatic improvement of Jalen’s Green’s shooting has been obvious from the numbers. But the Rockets believe the improvement can be found in areas that begin before he has put up shots.

Rockets coach Stephen Silas said the ways Green has not only been reading defenses but manipulating them has helped lead to the turnaround in his shooting since a January shooting slump.

“It’s been a few weeks now he seems to be trending in the right direction as far as the game slowing down for him, as far as him finding ways to within the offense put pressure on the defence, whether it’s pass-ahead finishes or him rebounding and pushing the ball,” Silas said. “Last game, he had a possession where he brought the ball up the court and noticed he had a mismatch on him and directed everybody to the left side of the floor so he could get to his right-hand finish in the paint.

“He’s also using setups in pick-and-rolls, which is huge. When it comes to setting your man up one way and then coming off, he’ll force defenders to go under (a screen.) You can force defenders to run into a screen. He wasn’t doing that early in the season.”

Green went into Sunday’s game averaging 17.2 points in nine February games, tops among rookies in the league, while making 47.8 percent of his shots and 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers. Prior to facing the Clippers on Sunday, he had averaged 18.4 points on 50.8 percent shooting and 47.4 percent 3-point shooting in his five previous games.

Any case to be made for Green as Western Conference rookie of the month might be hampered by the Rockets’ record, with one win in February’s first nine games. But the Rockets could be encouraged by the trend.

“I watched film with him (Saturday) on some of those things that he’s doing now that he wasn’t doing previously and ways that he’s able to attack the defence,” Silas said. “Then, on the defensive end, he’s been locked in, trying, fighting over screens, getting into it. If he misses it, ‘that was my low man.’ Things that he didn’t really understand early in the season, now he’s on it.”

Nation World News Desk
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