Rockets’ Ime Udoka Praises Performance Of Jalen Green

Ime Udoka, Jalen Green, Rockets, NBA
Mar 25, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka talks with guard Jalen Green (4) during the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have forced their way into the NBA Play-In Tournament discussion in the Western Conference with their recent performance. They are putting pressure on the 10th-place Golden State Warriors courtesy of being the hottest team in the league.

On Wednesday night, Houston picked up their 10th win in a row, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 132-126 on the road in overtime. It was only the team’s 11th road win of the season and it could not have come at a better time.

It helped the Rockets keep pace with the Warriors, remaining one game behind, as Golden State defeated the Orlando Magic earlier in the night. A major factor in Houston picking up the victory was another stellar performance by Jalen Green.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Ime Udoka, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has battled with bouts of inconsistency to this point in his career. That isn’t all too shocking given the unorthodox path he took to get into the league, but he looks to have turned a corner recently.

Against Oklahoma City, Green scored a game-high 37 points, adding 10 rebounds and seven assists for a well-rounded stat line. After the game, head coach Ime Udoka spoke very highly of Green, praising the work he has put in to improve his game across the board.

“I think it’s invaluable for our young guys to go through this,” Udoka said of the Rockets playing meaningful games in late March. “And obviously making the playoffs or play-in will be another step, but just going through what they are now and coming on the other side of .500 is huge for them.”

Green has turned into more than just a scorer during the Rockets’ recent hot streak. Udoka noted that he has seen improvements in Green’s attention to detail defensively, in rebounding the basketball and in being a playmaker.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Ime Udoka, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

A big-time 3-pointer from Jabari Smith Jr. late in the game was created by Green driving to the basket and having the confidence and trust to kick it to Smith to knock it down.

That kind of play is what will help Green ascend during his NBA career. If given the opportunity, every player in the league is capable of putting the ball in the basket. But, what separates good players from great ones is finding a way to impact the game in other ways, not just scoring.

For Green, he is learning that and capitalizing. It has helped the Rockets win 10 straight games and moves that much closer to a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament in the Western Conference.

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