With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets selected Jalen Green. He elected to skip playing collegiately, instead playing a season with the G League Ignite to prepare for life in the NBA.
He impressed during his time with the Ignite, averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. That kind of explosive scoring ability is what scouts raved about as Green possesses star potential.
It took a little while for that to come out as it took some time for Green to adjust to the NBA. Once he got comfortable, it was clear that the Rockets got an excellent player. One NBA scout shared to NBA Analysis Network what he thought occurred for Green when he turned the corner.
“Guys like Jalen usually take a bit to adjust to the NBA. He started slow, and that was sort of expected. He really turned it up around the start of February. You could notice the game slowing down for him a bit. … His reads were quicker and he was better adjusted to how NBA defensive principles react in different situations. He turned it over a lot less, got to his spots better, and created good looks for teammates.”
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From February on, Jalen Green made 47.4 percent of his shot attempts overall and 39.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. That led to him averaging 20.7 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
It was a strong close to his rookie campaign as his efficiency and offensive rating increased as the season wore on. The scout believes in Green’s potential and believes he can reach some incredible heights very soon, comparing him to a former All-Star.
“I think Jalen has excellent potential. He’s already really solid attacking off the catch and impressed me as an iso guy early. Liked how he was attacking out of DHOs in the two-man game with Tate, too. … His burst makes him an incredible option with great spacing and a playmaker in the frontcourt. Early in his career, he could be at the level Oladipo was at pre-injury when he broke out with the Pacers. Lots of explosive scoring potential.”
That is some high praise for Jalen Green, as Oladipo looked like one of the rising stars at the shooting guard position before injuries derailed his career. Peaking at that level would be considered excellent for some players, but if Green can achieve that level as early as the scout believes that he can, the Rockets are going to be contending for the playoffs in no time.
Alas, there is still some work for Green to do. The scout pointed out things that he needs to work on to reach that level and take the next step in his development.
“The next step for Jalen will be to continue to fine-tune his pick-and-roll reads and finishing. Would be nice to see a floater from him as well. … He could get better in how he executes out of off-ball actions, too. Overall, how he closed the season was very encouraging stuff.”
Houston certainly has to be happy with the progress that Jalen Green made in his first season in the league. With a year of experience under his belt and an improving roster around him, things are certainly looking up for the franchise.
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