Article written by Aqib Gazi (@AqibMGazi)
G-League and Summer League
Although he has yet to play a single minute in the NBA, the hype surrounding Jalen Green is very real. As evident from his time in the G-League and the Las Vegas Summer League, the man is a flat-out bucket getter. As an 18-year old playing in the G-league against grown men, Green averaged 17.9 PTS (46.1/36.5/82.9 shooting splits), 4.1 REB, and 2.8 AST per game in one season.
His game looked even more impressive during Summer League where he displayed an arsenal of offensive moves and athletic ability. In 3 Summer League games (really 2.5 due to injury), Green averaged a ridiculous 20.3 PTS (51.4/52.6/92.9) on just 12.3 FGA (70.6 TS%).
Jalen Green’s Bag
A lot of what we saw during Jalen Green’s time in the G-League and Summer League will be more or less what his game will be like in his first NBA season. The athleticism is the first thing that pops out when watching Jalen Green play ball. Part of that athletic ability equates to Green catching lobs, attacking the basket, knifing his way in transition, and his acrobatic finishing.
Also part of his offensive package is Green’s ability to really shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor. Whether it’s catch-and-shoot three’s, pull up jump shots, or turnaround jump shots from midrange, Green is not shy to take and make those types of shots.
The step-back three’s and step-back midrange jumpers in Summer League play was what caught a lot of Rockets fans’ attention. We all knew the Rockets were drafting someone who could shoot the ball, but at that point, Jalen Green was just showing off to the world just how deep his bag was.
On media day, Jalen Green made mention of shot selection and his handle as two things he was improving on over the offseason. Green’s ability to make difficult shots may sometimes overshadow the poor shot selection, but it’s a great sign when your young star is able to recognize that.
At times during the G-League bubble, Green showed flashes of awareness and court vision. Although that’s not particularly a weakness for Green, the passing and court vision can improve with tightening the handle and better decision making.
Rafael Stone had also mentioned that defense was an area of Jalen Green’s game that needed work. However, Stone was confident that Green would get better in that department due to his athleticism and effort.
This Season’s ROY?
During Rockets Media Day, Jalen Green made it very clear that he has his eyes set on winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award. When asked about his goals (outside of winning basketball games), Green replied, “the goal is to win rookie of the year and the fact that I didn’t go #1 is certainly motivation.” It’s no secret that Green feels a type of way after being drafted 2nd overall in the 2021 NBA draft instead of 1st overall. Wanting to win rookie of the year is certainly a great personal goal to have when the team expects a lot out of their young star.
Confidence is KEY
One thing that Jalen Green is definitely not short of is confidence. “It’s going to happen for sure,” says Green during media day when asked about becoming a leader and superstar for the Rockets. Green also stated that for this team, “the sky’s the limit. We can compete with every team in this league.”
Something to look forward to this season other than Green’s development as a player is how Jalen Green handles being one of the primary leaders to this Rockets team.