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Fred VanVleet sees Jalen Green becoming winning player for Rockets

Relative to his first two NBA seasons, 2023-24 is a statistical step back for third-year Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green.

After averaging a team-high 22.1 points per game (and 3.7 assists) last season on 41.7% shooting, those numbers have dipped to 17.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 40.1% shooting this season.

But unlike his first two NBA seasons, when the Rockets went 20-62 and 22-60, respectively, Houston (19-18) is now a winning team.

According to veteran backcourt mate Fred VanVleet, Green is contributing to that growth with improved play, even if the basic box-score numbers don’t show it yet. Here’s what VanVleet told Adam Spolane in an exclusive interview via the H-Town Hoops podcast:

I’m so proud of the kid. I love the way he’s been playing for our group. I love his demeanor, and his ability to get through the ups and the downs.

Outside of whatever slander is on Twitter and all of that bullshit, outside of that, he’s been great. You want to see him play on a good team, in a winning environment with good, competitive, winning basketball, and he’s done that.

Of course the numbers are going to take a dip, but he’ll pick back up. He’s making reads, he’s defending, he’s taking it personal, and he’s making winning plays. I’m loving watching him grow.

Spolane’s full interview with VanVleet can be listened to below.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire