Reports: Jalen Green returning to Rockets on Thursday in Indiana

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  • Houston Rockets
    Houston Rockets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Jalen Green
    Jalen Green
    Basketball player

After missing nearly a month of games due to a left hamstring strain suffered on Nov. 24, Rockets rookie Jalen Green is poised to return to Houston’s lineup on Thursday in Indiana. The news was first reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, who cited a source, and quickly confirmed by Kelly Iko and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Green went through a full practice Tuesday and a long workout afterward in a final test of his rehab,” Feigen reports. The Rockets also play Wednesday in Milwaukee, but the organization is reluctant to immediately throw the 19-year-old into a back-to-back situation after such a long layoff. Thus, his return will wait until Thursday.

When able to play, Green has averaged 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-4 guard was taken at No. 2 overall in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft, and his growth and development is perhaps the most critical priority for the rebuilding Rockets (10-21) during the 2021-22 regular season.

Green has struggled with efficiency to begin his NBA career, averaging 38.2% from the field and 27.8% on 3-pointers over his initial 18 games. But in addition to those being the first games of his career, they also largely came when the Rockets were utilizing a two-center frontcourt of Christian Wood and Daniel Theis, which led to subpar floor spacing.

Now, Green returns to a group that has ditched its dual-big lineups in an effort to better space the floor. In turn, that could give Green more open shots and driving lanes to attack the rim. Head coach Stephen Silas has already indicated that Green will return to the starting lineup.

Tipoff between the Pacers and Rockets is set for 6:00 p.m. CST.

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