Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green steadily improved as his 2021-22 rookie season progressed, culminating in a historic scoring stretch to end the year and a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.
Just 20 years old, one reason for the steady growth was Green adapting his body to the rigors and lifestyle of professional basketball. Now, with a full offseason after learning the demands, the Rockets are hopeful of further growth entering Green’s second season.
According to head coach Stephen Silas, who spoke to radio play-by-play broadcaster Matt Thomas in Wednesday’s SportsTalk 790 interview, Green has increased his strength this summer.
Here’s a sampling of what Silas said about Green’s offseason:
For him, it was his body this summer. He’s been diligent, as far as getting his work in, in the weight room. He hasn’t gained a whole bunch of weight, as far as looking like he’s so much stronger, but he is.
You can see it when he’s doing drills. His range is deeper. When he changes direction, it’s so quick and explosive. He’s already top of the league in explosiveness, but you can see that he’s more stable and stronger. He can take a little bump, and still finish.
His big jump will be as a result of his work in the weight room. I’ve seen that before, with guys. Their body changes, and they just get better, stronger, and more consistent. Taking those bumps and bruises as the season goes along, he’ll be able to maintain and sustain as a result of the work he’s done this summer.
Silas pointed to Green’s jump shot as another area where increased strength could be evident. He cited reigning NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry, coached by Silas (as an assistant) early in his Golden State career, as an example of a player who made similar growth.
“We’ll see more deep range shots,” Silas said. “Last year, he would get to his stepback, and he would look a little off-balance because he was weaker in his core. All those little stepbacks that he shoots, whether it’s from two or from three, they’re a lot more compact, and stronger. He’s just a lot stronger in his shoulders, to where getting it up isn’t a problem. It’s just a quicker, more compact shot.”
“I saw that with Steph, when he was a rookie and not strong at all,” Silas said of Curry. Now, it’s easy for him.”