Aggression helps rookie Jalen Green break out of shooting slump

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Aggression helps rookie Jalen Green break out of shooting slump
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As the clock was winding down late in the first half, Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green had the ball in his possession at the top of the key, waiting on teammate Eric Gordon to set a screen to give Green a little more room to operate.

With the shot-clock becoming a factor, Green decides to shoot from the top of the key with the defender sagging off him trying to prevent him from using his lethal first step to get inside the lane. As the shot goes in, you can see the relief on the 19-year-old rookie’s face, who had missed all his attempts from three-point range up to that point.

Although that shot won’t be viewed as anything spectacular by anyone watching the highlights, it meant everything to a player who has been in a horrendous shooting slump lately entering the game shooting less than 20 percent from the field and three-point range.

In the 125-110 loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Friday night, Green was able to find some of that offensive aggressiveness that made him the second overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. His 17 points on the night helped break a streak of three straight games of not reaching double digits.

“I’ve been in a little bit of a slump, so I tried to get myself going, try be aggressive from the jump,” said Green in his postgame press conference. “That’s the best way to get yourself out of a shooting slump.”

Teammate Christian Wood was also happy to see Green fight through his past struggles and continue to play with the determination he displayed in the game.

“I love when he’s playing like that,” Wood said. “He’s getting downhill, and when he drives, the defense collapses. He can make the pass. When he is aggressive like that, he’s tough to guard because his first step is just crazy quick.”

After the game, Green received some advice from Portland shooting guard C.J. McCollum, one of the better jump shooters within the NBA for several years:

I told him after the game, as well as the young fella with the bounce, Josh Christopher. Work on your skills. You’re athletic. Y’all got a lot of upside in terms of what you can do in the open court. But you have to work on your skills, ballhandling, getting to spots, shooting, the fundamentals of the game, footwork. That’s what separates you and gets you through these tough moments because you can’t always dunk. You got to be able to do something else.

On Monday, Houston will welcome Golden State into Toyota Center, looking for their first home win since December 8, 2020.

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