The ‘ugly duckling to swan’ perennial prospect finally blossoms

Green’s potential is finally in full bloom.

The Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 132-126 in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season on Monday night (Feb. 28) at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

The win was Houston’s 10th straight. The 10-game winning streak is the Rockets’ longest of the season. The win keeps the Rockets within one game of Golden State for the 10th spot in the 메이저 토토사이트 Western Conference.

It was a hard-fought game. Oklahoma City was without their ace, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but they proved why they are in third place in the Western Conference.

Josh Giddy exploded to fill the void, and the offense exploded with Jaylen Williams, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Joe, and others getting into the scoring column.

Houston countered with Jaylen Green, Amen Thompson, and Dillon Brooks.

The game was back-and-forth throughout, and it was Green’s performance in overtime that gave the Rockets the win.

Green was the star of the game, hitting three-pointers at key moments to lead the team’s offense. Green finished with 37 points, seven assists, and nine rebounds, shooting 14 of 24 from the field and 7 of 11 from three-point range.

The Warriors are 12-1 in their last 13 games. They are the best team in the NBA during this stretch. Green has been a big part of this run.

In those 13 games, Green averaged 27.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 49.6% shooting from the field and 40.9% shooting from three-point range. That’s a lot of points per game and a lot of efficiency. He’s become Houston’s undisputed ace in the hole.

Even his turnovers, which were often criticized as his biggest weakness, have been reduced to an average of 1.9 per game.

Green is finally living up to Houston’s expectations.

Drafted by the Rockets with the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Green was highly touted as the heir apparent to James Harden.

When Green joined the team, the Rockets were in the midst of a rebuild and didn’t have the veterans and head coach to help him develop. In that situation, Green focused on individual play, playing basketball for himself, not winning basketball.

This offseason, the Rockets completed their rebuild with the hiring of head coach Ime Udoka and the addition of several quality veterans in free agency, including Fred VanVleet, Brooks, and Jeff Green.

Udoka is known for his emphasis on defense. Newcomers Bentley, Brooks, and Green are all good defenders. The plan seems to have been to turn Houston into a defensive team with a mix of established players and newcomers.

However, Green was not a good fit for Udoka’s offense. Green’s emphasis on individual play and offense after entering the NBA was at odds with Udoka’s emphasis on defense and unselfish play.

Green struggled with ups and downs from game to game, and as he lost Udoka’s trust, his playing time dwindled.

Ironically, things took a turn for the better when Houston’s ace, Alfaren Senghun, went down with an injury. Without Senghun, who had been the focal point of Houston’s offense all season, the center of Houston’s offense shifted to Green.

Senghun has the skill set to easily average 20 points, but he’s a big man by nature, and he possesses the ball a lot. Green is also a player who can create when he has the ball, and he likes to run the offense. In other words, Green is the exact opposite of Sengun.

With Green at the center of the offense, Houston‘s offense became much faster. In addition, the team began to play more unselfish basketball, with a variety of players touching the ball, and Green stepping up to the plate when they needed to score.

Udoka’s envisioned basketball and Green’s skills have blossomed at the same time. Of course, Sen is a great player, and it’s safe to say that he is the future and present of Houston. Still, it’s hard to deny that coexisting with Green has been difficult.

The loss of a key player in the middle of the season, when the Rockets were virtually guaranteed to miss the playoffs, was the catalyst for a turnaround.

Can the Rockets keep the momentum going and make a run at the playoffs?

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