NBA News: Rockets' Alperen Sengun Taking Game To Next Level

Rockets’ Alperen Sengun Taking Game To Next Level

Alperen Sengun, Rockets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Houston Rockets have one of the better groups of young players in the NBA. With Ime Udoka taking over as head coach, they were hoping their group of youngsters would be able to take that next step with the addition of a few veterans as well.

Their big free agent splashes were point guard Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks, providing the roster with some much-needed veteran influence. Jeff Green brings more of the same to the table as someone with championship experience.

While Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. are the two youngsters people talk about the most on the Rockets, they have left a little something to be desired to this point. The young player who has taken his game to another level this season is center Alperen Sengun.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets Updates

The No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft showed some nice improvement in Year 2 and has taken another step in his development in Year 3. If you squint hard enough, you can see some shades of Nikola Jokic in what Sengun is doing on the court this season.

He is averaging 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 0.9 steals in 30.7 minutes per game. Sengun is making 64 percent of his 2-point attempts as there aren’t many players in the NBA who are dominating inside the arc offensively as much as Sengun is. As Zach Lowe of ESPN pointed out, Sengun is making major strides defensively as well.

“He’s working harder on defense, too; the Rockets have allowed a minuscule 102 points per 100 possessions with Sengun on the floor — and 114 when he rests. Some of that — maybe a lot of it — is luck in the form of awful opponent jump-shooting, but Sengun is grinding. The Rockets are plus-68 with Sengun on the floor and minus-27 when he rests. He sits at the head of the table among Houston’s sextet of intriguing young players,” Lowe wrote.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets Updates

This isn’t a development that many people saw coming. Green and Smith were both No. 2 overall picks in their respective drafts and were believed to be the higher-upside players. But, their 3-point shooting ability, along with VanVleet and Brooks, makes for a very dangerous offensive grouping around Sengun with his playmaking ability.

At 4-3 on the season, the Rockets are a team on the come-up. It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks go for him as teams will be adjusting their game plans accordingly to slow him down.

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