Rockets star Jalen Green limiting turnovers since injury return
Since returning from a left groin strain on Feb. 28, the topical numbers for second-year Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green are fairly similar to those for his 2022-23 season as a whole.
In five games, during which the Rockets are 2-3 as a team, Green is averaging 21.0 points and 3.0 assists in 28.3 minutes per game. His shooting percentages (46.5% overall, 38.7% on 3-pointers) are up slightly over that period, though the volume of the first three games was a bit down as Green worked his way back from injury.
However, there is one category that has seen a noticeable and sustained change. In 54 games prior to the past week, the 21-year-old had averaged 2.9 turnovers per game. In these last five, that has fallen by more than half, to an average of only 1.4 per game.
In recent comments, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas analyzed how Green, the NBA’s No. 2 overall draft pick from the 2021 first round, is making some of those improvements. Among his comments:
There’s playing downhill and getting better setups on his pick-and-rolls. That gives him easier reads to make. When the reads are easier, it’s easier not to turn the ball over.
He’s conscious of changing pace. There are times when he doesn’t change pace and he’s going full speed, but he knows. It’s starting to creep into his game, where he goes from slow to fast, or fast to slow. When you’re able to do that and make reads, then you’re not going to turn the ball over as much.
The third part is his ability to get to the free-throw line, which is so much better than it was last year. At times, he’ll get in there and look for contact, or rake under and do those veteran things that guys do to get to the line. Those are the things that have helped him, as far as his turnovers.
I’m sure it’ll be an up and down thing, it is a small sample size. But he’s conscious of it, and that’s the first step.
Over this same time period, Green has registered a positive plus-minus differential in three straight games for the first time in his young NBA career. That includes Tuesday’s loss to Brooklyn, in which Houston was +1 in 38 minutes with Green and a staggering -23 in 10 minutes without their 6-foot-6 shooting guard.
Green will look to build on that growth when the Rockets visit Indiana on Thursday night. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m. Central.
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I asked #Rockets coach Stephen Silas about the second-year evolution of Jalen Green, who has had only three turnovers in three games since his return.
Per Silas, there are three growth areas: Playing downhill on pick-and-rolls, changing pace, and drawing more FTs.
Good answer: pic.twitter.com/WsRZ9hmija
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) March 5, 2023